Chapter 4

Bioactive Peptides and Their Therapeutic Potential as Antimicrobial Drugs

Pintubala Kshetri, Thangjam Surchandra Singh and Subhra Saikat Roy

Abstract

Peptides are short chain amino acids having low molecular weight usually less than 20 kDa. Peptides having health beneficial biological activity are known as bioactive peptides (BP). BP may be free or encrypted within the protein sequence and encrypted peptides are active only when released from the parent protein. Enzymatic hydrolysis and microbial fermentation are the most common methods for the production of BP from the parent protein. BP have numerous beneficial biomedical functions. They can act as antihypertensive, antioxidant, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and antimicrobial agents. With the emergence of new infectious diseases and multidrug resistant pathogenic bacterial strains, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new antimicrobial agents having a broad spectrum of activity. In this context, BP having antimicrobial activity (antimicrobial peptides) can be a potential candidate for the development of new antimicrobial drugs. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have played an important role in the innate immune system of plants and animals. Hence, various AMPs have been isolated from microbes, plants, and animals. AMPs can directly or indirectly kill the pathogen and their mechanism of action is different from conventional antibiotics. They also have immunomodulatory functions. Moreover, AMPs have lower pathogen resistance as compared to conventional antibiotics. These properties attract researchers and pharmaceutical industries toward the development of AMPs as new anti-infective drugs against the multi-drug resistant pathogens. The present chapter highlights the production and application of BP as well as their potential use as antimicrobial drugs.

Total Pages: 67-85 (19)

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