The Story

Introducing antimicrobial peptides from host defense systems – an evolved natural defense mechanism

For hundreds of millions of years, multicellular organisms on earth have evolved various immune mechanisms to protect from pathogens in the environment. Innate immune responses employing antimicrobial peptides can be seen in organisms as primordial as the horseshoe crabs, whose origins can trace back 450 million years.

Recent discovery of the widespread occurrence of antimicrobial defense peptides in nature has substantiated their importance during evolution and especially to enable man and animals to fight infections. In addition to horseshoe crabs, antimicrobial defense peptides have evolved in diverse animals from arthropods to amphibians to mammals.

beach

Horseshoe crabs on the beach. Innate immune responses employing antimicrobial peptides predate human existence

Insects (cecropia moth) (Cecropin, 1981)

Insects (cecropia moth) (Cecropin, 1981)

Frogs <br> (Magainin, 1987)

Frogs
(Magainin, 1987)

Human <br> (LL-37, 1991)

Human
(LL-37, 1991)

Structure of Lactoferricin B Structure of Lactoferricin B

One such host-defense peptide fragment, lactoferricin, which can be found in cow milk, has certain characteristics that have been harnessed for developing new antimicrobial chemicals.

AMC-109 Antimicrobial peptide AMC-109 Antimicrobial peptide

Through extensive research on the antimicrobial properties of lactoferricin, the synthetic antimicrobial peptide AMC-109 was developed in our laboratories.