M. Cantisani

Learn More
Human beta-defensins (hBDs) are antimicrobial peptides of human innate immunity. The antibacterial activities of hBDs 1, 2, and 4 but not the activity of hBD3 are impaired by high salt levels. We have designed and synthesized seven novel hBD analogs, constituted by different domains of hBD1 (which is constitutively expressed in humans) and of hBD3 (which is(More)
Virus infections pose significant global health challenges, especially in view of the fact that the emergence of resistant viral strains and the adverse side effects associated with prolonged use continue to slow down the application of effective antiviral therapies. This makes imperative the need for the development of safe and potent alternatives to(More)
Gram negative bacteria have evolved many mechanisms of attaching to and invading host epithelial and immune cells. In particular, many outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are involved in this initial interaction between the pathogen and their host. The outer membrane (OM) of Gram-negative bacteria performs the crucial role of providing an extra layer of(More)
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) membrane fusion represents an attractive target for anti-HSV therapy. To investigate the structural basis of HSV membrane fusion and identify new targets for inhibition, we have investigated the different membranotropic domains of HSV-1 gH envelope glycoprotein. We observed that fusion peptides when added exogenously are able to(More)
The interactions between peptides and lipids are of fundamental importance in the functioning of numerous membrane-mediated cellular processes including antimicrobial peptide action, hormone-receptor interactions, drug bioavailability across the blood-brain barrier and viral fusion processes. Moreover, a major goal of modern biotechnology is obtaining new(More)
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a significant human pathogen causing mucocutaneous lesions primarily in the oral or genital mucosa. Although acyclovir (ACV) and related nucleoside analogs provide successful treatment, HSV remains highly prevalent worldwide and is a major cofactor for the spread of human immunodeficiency virus. Encephalitis, meningitis, and(More)
Human beta-defensins (hBDs) are crucial peptides for the innate immune response and are thus prime candidates as therapeutic agents directed against infective diseases. Based on the properties of wild-type hBD1 and hBD3 and of previously synthesized analogs (1C, 3I, and 3N), we have designed a new analog, 3NI, and investigated its potential as an(More)
We have designed a cyclic 17-amino acid β-defensin analog featuring a single disulfide bond. This analog, designated "AMC" (ie, antimicrobial cyclic peptide), combines the internal hydrophobic domain of hBD1 and the C-terminal charged region of hBD3. The novel peptide was synthesized and characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The(More)
HBHA is a cell-surface protein implicated in the dissemination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) from the site of primary infection. Its N-terminal coiled-coil region is also involved in bacterial agglutination. However, despite the importance of HBHA dimerization in agglutination, protein regions involved in dimerization are hitherto not known. Here, we(More)
The marine environment has been poorly explored in terms of potential new molecules possessing antibacterial activity. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) offer a new potential class of pharmaceuticals; however, further optimization is needed if AMPs are to find broad use as antibiotics. We focused our studies on a peptide derived from the epidermal mucus of(More)