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Cysteine-rich low molecular weight antimicrobial peptides from Brevibacillus and related genera for biotechnological applications

  • Baindara, Piyush1
  • Kapoor, Anoop2
  • Korpole, Suresh1
  • Grover, Vishakha3
  • 1 CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39A, Chandigarh, 160036, India , Chandigarh (India)
  • 2 Sri Sukhmani Dental College and Hospital, Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Derabassi, Punjab, India , Derabassi (India)
  • 3 Panjab University, Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Chandigarh, 160014, India , Chandigarh (India)
Published Article
World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
May 22, 2017
DOI: 10.1007/s11274-017-2291-9
Springer Nature


The production of natural antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is an innate immunity trait of all life forms including eukaryotes and prokaryotes. While these AMPs are usually called as defensins in eukaryotes, they are known as bacteriocins in prokaryotes. Bacteriocins are more diverse AMPs considering their varied composition and posttranslational modifications. Accordingly, this review is focused on cysteine-rich AMPs resembling eukaryotic defensins such as laterosporulin from Brevibacillus spp. and associated peptides secreted by the members of related genera. In fact, structural studies of laterosporulin showed the pattern typically observed in human defensins and therefore, should be considered as bacterial defensin. Although the biosynthesis mechanism of bacterial defensins displayed high similarities, variations in amino acid composition and structure provided the molecular basis for a better understanding of their properties. They are reported to inhibit Gram-positive, Gram-negative, non-multiplying and human pathogenic bacteria. The extreme stability is due to the presence of intra-molecular disulfide bonds in prokaryotic defensins and reveals their potential clinical and food preservation applications. Notably, they are also reported to have potential anticancer properties. Therefore, this review is focused on multitude of diverse applications of bacterial defensins, exploring the possible correlations between their structural, functional and possible biotechnological applications.

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