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Animals and higher plants express endogenous peptide antibiotics called defensins. These small cysteine-rich peptides are active against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Here we describe plectasin-the first defensin to be isolated from a fungus, the saprophytic ascomycete Pseudoplectania nigrella. Plectasin has primary, secondary and tertiary structures that(More)
The therapeutic, antibiotic potential of antimicrobial peptides can be prohibitively diminished because of the cytotoxicity and hemolytic profiles they exhibit. Quantifying and predicting antimicrobial peptide toxicity against host cells is thus an important goal of AMP related research. In this work, we present quantitative structure activity relationships(More)
Membrane pores spontaneously formed by antimicrobial peptides in membranes were crystallized for the first time by manipulating the sample hydration and temperature. Neutron diffraction shows that magainins and protegrins form stable pores in fully hydrated fluid membranes. At lower hydration levels or low temperature, the membrane multilayers crystallize.(More)
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), important effector molecules of the innate immune system, also provide templates for designing novel antibiotics. Protegrin, an especially potent AMP found in porcine leukocytes, was recently shown to form octameric transmembrane pores. We have employed a combination of experiments and models spanning length scales from the(More)
Defensins are antimicrobial peptides that contribute broadly to innate immunity, including protection of mucosal tissues. Human α-defensin (HD) 6 is highly expressed by secretory Paneth cells of the small intestine. However, in contrast to the other defensins, it lacks appreciable bactericidal activity. Nevertheless, we report here that HD6 affords(More)
Clavanins are histidine-rich, amidated alpha-helical antimicrobial peptides that were originally isolated from the leukocytes (hemocytes) of a tunicate, Styela clava. The activities of clavanin A amide and clavanin A acid against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Candida albicans were substantially greater at pH 5.5 than at pH 7.4. In contrast,(More)