Insect antimicrobial peptides: potential weapons to counteract the antibiotic resistance

M. D. Manniello, A. Moretta, R. Salvia, C. Scieuzo, Donatella Lucchetti, H. Vogel, Alessandro Sgambato, P. Falabella

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Misuse and overuse of antibiotics have contributed in the last decades to a phenomenon known as antibiotic resistance which is currently considered one of the principal threats to global public health by the World Health Organization. The aim to find alternative drugs has been demonstrated as a real challenge. Thanks to their biodiversity, insects represent the largest class of organisms in the animal kingdom. The humoral immune response includes the production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that are released into the insect hemolymph after microbial infection. In this review, we have focused on insect immune responses, particularly on AMP characteristics, their mechanism of action and applications, especially in the biomedical field. Furthermore, we discuss the Toll, Imd, and JAK-STAT pathways that activate genes encoding for the expression of AMPs. Moreover, we focused on strategies to improve insect peptides stability against proteolytic susceptibility such as D-amino acid substitutions, N-terminus modification, cyclization and dimerization.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)4259-4282
Numero di pagine24
RivistaCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Antibacterial peptides
  • Immune system
  • Mechanism of action
  • Resistant bacteria
  • Signaling pathways


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