Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins 2019 Apr 18. Epub 2019 Apr 18.
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Ege University, 35100, Bornova, Izmir, Turkey.
Peptides are considered very important due to the diversity expressed through their amino acid sequence, structure variation, large spectrum, and their essential role in biological systems. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) emerged as a potent tool in therapy owing to their antimicrobial properties but also their ability to trespass the membranes, specificity, and low toxicity. They comprise a variety of peptides from which specific amino acid-rich peptides are of interest to the current review due to their features in metal interaction and cell penetration. Histidine-rich peptides such as Histatins belong to the metal binding salivary residing peptides with efficient antibacterial, antifungal, and wound-healing activities. Furthermore, their ability to activate in acidic environment attracted the attention to their potential in therapy. The current review covers the current knowledge about AMPs and critically assess the potential of associating with metal ions both structurally and functionally. This review provides interesting hints for the advantages provided by AMPs and metal ions in biomedicine, making use of their direct properties in brain diseases therapy or in the creation of new bio-functionalized nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and treatment.