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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Mar;7(3):245-50. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2095.

Antimicrobial peptides: linking partition, activity and high membrane-bound concentrations.

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Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, Av. Professor Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal.


An increasing amount of information on the action of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) at the molecular level has not yet been translated into a comprehensive understanding of effects in bacteria. Although some biophysical attributes of AMPs have been correlated with macroscopic features, the physiological relevance of other properties has not yet been addressed. Pertinent and surprising conclusions have therefore been left unstated. Strong membrane-binding and micromolar therapeutic concentrations of AMPs indicate that membrane-bound concentrations may be reached that are higher than intuitively expected, triggering disruptive effects on bacteria.

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