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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02169

Bioactive peptides against fungal biofilms

  • 1Programa de Pós-graduação em Patologia Molecular, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil
  • 2Centro de Análises Proteômicas e Bioquímicas, Pós-graduação em Ciências Genômicas e Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica de Brasília, Brazil
  • 3Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Dom Bosco (UCDB), Brazil
  • 4Pos-Graduação em Ciencias Genomicas e Biotecnologia, Catholic University of Brasilia (UCB), Brazil

Infections caused by invasive fungal biofilms have been widely associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, mainly due to the advent of antibiotic resistance. Moreover, fungal biofilms impose an additional challenge, leading to multidrug resistance. This fact, along with the contamination of medical devices and the limited number of effective antifungal agents available on the market, demonstrates the importance of finding novel drug candidates targeting pathogenic fungal cells and biofilms. In this context, an alternative strategy is the use of antifungal peptides (AFPs) against fungal biofilms. AFPs are considered a group of bioactive molecules with broad-spectrum activities and multiple mechanisms of action that have been widely used as template molecules for drug design strategies aiming at greater specificity and biological efficacy. Among the AFP classes most studied in the context of fungal biofilms, defensins, cathelicidins and histatins have been described. AFPs can also act by preventing the formation of fungal biofilms and eradicating preformed biofilms through mechanisms associated with cell wall perturbation, inhibition of planktonic fungal cells’ adhesion onto surfaces, gene regulation and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, considering the critical scenario imposed by fungal biofilms and associated infections and the application of AFPs as a possible treatment, this review will focus on the most effective antifungal peptides described to date, with a core focus on antibiofilm peptides, as well as their efficacy in vivo, application on surfaces and proposed mechanisms of action.

Keywords: peptídeos antifúngicos, infeções fungais, biofilmes fúngicos, peptídeos antimicrobianos, mecanismos de ação

Received: 26 Mar 2019; Accepted: 04 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Oshiro, Rodrigues, Monges, Cardoso and Franco. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Octavio L. Franco, Catholic University of Brasilia (UCB), Pos-Graduação em Ciencias Genomicas e Biotecnologia, Brasília, 71837-360, Distrito Federal, Brazil, ocfranco@gmail.com