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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2007 Dec;5(6):951-9.

Alternative mechanisms of action of cationic antimicrobial peptides on bacteria.

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University of British Columbia, Centre for Microbial Disease and Immunity Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Lower Mall Research Station, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4, Canada.


Cationic antimicrobial peptides are a novel type of antibiotic offering much potential in the treatment of microbial-related diseases. They offer many advantages for commercial development, including a broad spectrum of action and modest size. However, despite the identification or synthetic production of thousands of such peptides, the mode of action remains elusive, except for a few examples. While the dogma for the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides against bacteria is believed to be through pore formation or membrane barrier disruption, some peptides clearly act differently and other intracellular target sites have been identified. This article presents an updated review of how cationic antimicrobial peptides are able to affect bacterial killing, with a focus on internal targets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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