Redox Active Antimicrobial Peptides in Controlling Growth of Microorganisms at Body Barriers

Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Mar 13;10(3):446. doi: 10.3390/antiox10030446.


Epithelia in the skin, gut and other environmentally exposed organs display a variety of mechanisms to control microbial communities and limit potential pathogenic microbial invasion. Naturally occurring antimicrobial proteins/peptides and their synthetic derivatives (here collectively referred to as AMPs) reinforce the antimicrobial barrier function of epithelial cells. Understanding how these AMPs are functionally regulated may be important for new therapeutic approaches to combat microbial infections. Some AMPs are subject to redox-dependent regulation. This review aims to: (i) explore cysteine-based redox active AMPs in skin and intestine; (ii) discuss casual links between various redox environments of these barrier tissues and the ability of AMPs to control cutaneous and intestinal microbes; (iii) highlight how bacteria, through intrinsic mechanisms, can influence the bactericidal potential of redox-sensitive AMPs.

Keywords: antimicrobial peptides; bacteria; chemerin; defensin; gut; skin.

Publication types

  • Review