Antimicrobial Proteins: Structure, Molecular Action, and Therapeutic Potential

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



Second- and third-line treatments of patients with antibiotic-resistant infections can have serious side effects, such as organ failure with prolonged care and recovery. As clinical practices such as cancer therapies, chronic disease treatment, and organ transplantation rely on the ability of available antibiotics to fight infection, the increased resistance of microbial pathogens presents a multifaceted, serious public health concern worldwide. The pipeline of traditional antibiotics is exhausted and unable to overcome the continuously developing multi-drug resistance. To that end, the widely observed limitation of clinically utilized antibiotics has prompted researchers to find a clinically relevant alternate antimicrobial strategy. In recent decades, the discovery of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as an excellent candidate to overcome antibiotic resistance has received further attention, particularly from scientists, health professionals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Effective AMPs are characterized by a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities, high pathogen specificity, and low toxicity. In addition to their antimicrobial activity, AMPs have been found to be involved in a variety of biological functions, including immune regulation, angiogenesis, wound healing, and antitumor activity. This review provides a current overview of the structure, molecular action, and therapeutic potential of AMPs.