Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 68, Issue 13, pp 2243–2254

Bacterial resistance mechanisms against host defense peptides

Multi-author review

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-011-0716-4

Cite this article as:
Koprivnjak, T. & Peschel, A. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2011) 68: 2243. doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0716-4

Abstract

Host defense peptides and proteins are important components of the innate host defense against pathogenic microorganisms. They target negatively charged bacterial surfaces and disrupt microbial cytoplasmic membranes, which ultimately leads to bacterial destruction. Throughout evolution, pathogens devised several mechanisms to protect themselves from deleterious damage of host defense peptides. These strategies include (a) inactivation and cleavage of host defense peptides by production of host defense binding proteins and proteases, (b) repulsion of the peptides by alteration of pathogen’s surface charge employing modifications by amino acids or amino sugars of anionic molecules (e.g., teichoic acids, lipid A and phospholipids), (c) alteration of bacterial membrane fluidity, and (d) expulsion of the peptides using multi drug pumps. Together with bacterial regulatory network(s) that regulate expression and activity of these mechanisms, they represent attractive targets for development of novel antibacterials.

Keywords

Pathogens Cationic peptides Teichoic acids Lipid A D-alanylation Aminoarabinose Ethanolamine Multidrug efflux pumps Proteases 

Abbreviations

CAMPs

Cationic antimicrobial peptides

gIIA PLA2

group IIA phospholipase A2

HBD3

Human β-defensin 3

HNPs

Human neutrophil peptides

LPS

Lipopolysaccharide

LTA

Lipoteichoic acid

MDR

Multidrug resistance

PAMPs

Pathogen-associated molecular patterns

PGA

Anionic poly-γ -glutamic acid

TA

Teichoic acids

PG

Phosphatidylglycerol

PIA

Polysaccharide intercellular adhesin

SIC

Streptococcal inhibitor of complement

WTA

Wall teichoic acid

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyNational Institute of Chemistry SloveniaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology SectionUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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