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      Antimicrobial Peptides as Anticancer Agents: Functional Properties and Biological Activities

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          Abstract

          Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), or host defense peptides, are small cationic or amphipathic molecules produced by prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms that play a key role in the innate immune defense against viruses, bacteria and fungi. AMPs have either antimicrobial or anticancer activities. Indeed, cationic AMPs are able to disrupt microbial cell membranes by interacting with negatively charged phospholipids. Moreover, several peptides are capable to trigger cytotoxicity of human cancer cells by binding to negatively charged phosphatidylserine moieties which are selectively exposed on the outer surface of cancer cell plasma membranes. In addition, some AMPs, such as LTX-315, have shown to induce release of tumor antigens and potent damage associated molecular patterns by causing alterations in the intracellular organelles of cancer cells. Given the recognized medical need of novel anticancer drugs, AMPs could represent a potential source of effective therapeutic agents, either alone or in combination with other small molecules, in oncology. In this review we summarize and describe the properties and the mode of action of AMPs as well as the strategies to increase their selectivity toward specific cancer cells.

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          Most cited references 119

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          Nanoparticle delivery of cancer drugs.

          Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology to medicine, enabled the development of nanoparticle therapeutic carriers. These drug carriers are passively targeted to tumors through the enhanced permeability and retention effect, so they are ideally suited for the delivery of chemotherapeutics in cancer treatment. Indeed, advances in nanomedicine have rapidly translated into clinical practice. To date, there are five clinically approved nanoparticle chemotherapeutics for cancer and many more under clinical investigation. In this review, we discuss the various nanoparticle drug delivery platforms and the important concepts involved in nanoparticle drug delivery. We also review the clinical data on the approved nanoparticle therapeutics as well as the nanotherapeutics under clinical investigation.
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            Antimicrobial Peptides

            The rapid increase in drug-resistant infections has presented a serious challenge to antimicrobial therapies. The failure of the most potent antibiotics to kill “superbugs” emphasizes the urgent need to develop other control agents. Here we review the history and new development of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), a growing class of natural and synthetic peptides with a wide spectrum of targets including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We summarize the major types of AMPs, their modes of action, and the common mechanisms of AMP resistance. In addition, we discuss the principles for designing effective AMPs and the potential of using AMPs to control biofilms (multicellular structures of bacteria embedded in extracellular matrixes) and persister cells (dormant phenotypic variants of bacterial cells that are highly tolerant to antibiotics).
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              Peptide antibiotics.

               R. Hancock (1997)
              The era of the "classical antibiotic" may be over. The emergence of resistance has seen to that. Yet no truly novel class of antibacterial agent has come on the market in the past 30 years. Currently there is great interest in peptide antibiotics, especially the cationic peptides. Thousands of such molecules have been synthesised and just a few are entering clinical trials. Because they kill bacteria quickly by the physical disruption of cell membranes, peptide antibiotics may not face the rapid emergence of resistance.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Molecules
                Molecules
                molecules
                Molecules
                MDPI
                1420-3049
                19 June 2020
                June 2020
                : 25
                : 12
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Molecular Biology and Viral Oncology Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS “Fondazione G. Pascale”, 80131 Napoli, Italy; f.buonaguro@ 123456istitutotumori.na.it (F.M.B.); m.tornesello@ 123456istitutotumori.na.it (M.L.T.)
                [2 ]Innovative Immunological Models, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS “Fondazione G. Pascale”, 80131 Napoli, Italy; l.buonaguro@ 123456istitutotumori.na.it
                Author notes
                [†]

                Co-first authors of this study.

                Article
                molecules-25-02850
                10.3390/molecules25122850
                7356147
                32575664
                58dfc5b8-5159-42eb-99b0-5a8e4343b366
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                antimicrobial peptides, amps, cancer, anticancer peptides, acps

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