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A discovery by researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) has uncovered a common blueprint for proteins that have antimicrobial properties. This finding opens the door to design and development of a new generation of anti-infectives active against pathogens that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics.
The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper titled "A Unifying Structural Signature of Eukaryotic α-helical Host Defense Peptides." The discovery was made by Dr. Nannette Yount and Dr. Michael Yeaman, who found that certain small proteins, called peptides, have antimicrobial activity if they contain a specific structural signature consisting of a conserved amino acid pattern that forms a three-dimensional shape known as an alpha-helix.
Yount - Yeaman - Signature - Database - Proteins
Yount and Yeaman discovered and characterized the alpha-core signature, and then used it to mine the database of all known proteins and peptides. In doing so, they found thousands of proteins never before known to have antimicrobial activity. The team then synthesized examples of the newly discovered peptides demonstrating that they have potent antimicrobial activity against infective microbes that resist even...
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