Nov, 2021 - By WMR
Researchers used a carefully designed algorithm and discovered dozens of peptides having same qualities as antimicrobial peptides AMPs and can fight against most harmful bacteria.
Increasing rate of drug-resistant bacteria is pushing the demand for novel antibiotic discovery. These bacteria are likely to be a major health threat in the coming future. It is expected that these bacteria could be the cause of 10 million deaths each year by 2050. However, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found a new antimicrobial peptides set using an algorithm carefully designed for the purpose of finding peptides with antimicrobial properties.
In this study, the team looked for novel antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in human body using an algorithm to search for peptides having antimicrobial properties in the human proteome, which is a complete set of expressed proteins in the body. The researchers scanned the proteome for peptides having all the same characteristics such as a positive charge, a length of between eight and 50 amino acids, and having hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts of AMPs. The team found 2,603 results where these peptides had no link to immune system. Therefore, the team referred them as encrypted peptides. Out of these peptides the team chose 55 and examined their efficiency against eight pathogenic bacteria, which also included Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, E. coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. People usually get infected by these bacteria in hospitals, which could be a dangerous infection that is problematic to treat.
Furthermore, it was found that 63.6% of these 55 peptides consisted antimicrobial activity and they attacked the infection caused by those pathogenic bacteria plus they attacked skin and gut commensal bacteria that are beneficial to human body. According to the team, it could be an indication of microbiota modulating role possessed by these peptides as well. According to the team, this study could lead to novel natural antibiotics to fight against the threat of drug-resistant bacteria.