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Antibiotics save lives from fatal infections. Their applicability however, has become gradually limited due to the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR). Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have an encouraging potential because (i) the MDR pathogens perform a high frequency of collateral sensitivity to AMPs; (b) ...

Antibiotics save lives from fatal infections. Their applicability however, has become gradually limited due to the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR). Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have an encouraging potential because (i) the MDR pathogens perform a high frequency of collateral sensitivity to AMPs; (b) the mobility patterns of antibiotic-resistance, and AMP- resistance genes are different. However, the mode of administration of exogenous AMPs is a key question, since the delivered therapeutic peptide needs to endure mRNA degrading enzymes and immune defense mechanisms in the host. A novel technique for peptide delivery into plants is called proteolistics. This novel, mRNA-based technique makes the cells biosynthesize the therapeutic peptides- (vaccines, antibodies, AMPs) in situ de novo. In vitro (laboratory) transcribed (IVT) mRNA encoding the AMP is delivered into the cell, and is subsequently translated into the respective protective peptide.
The Research Topic will focus on this new technique as a tool to deliver genetic information coding for protective AMP peptides in situ into MDR- pathogen-attacked host cells.

Synthetic mRNAs can be engineered to transiently express peptides by structurally resembling natural mRNA, providing an option for controlling the translational efficacy and reducing immunogenicity of the (IVT)mRNA. Advances in addressing the inherent challenges of this novel drug class, particularly related to controlling the translational efficacy and immunogenicity of the IVTmRNA, provide a basis for a broad range of potential applications. So far it has been used mainly in vaccine production. Multiple mRNA vaccine platforms have been developed and evaluated in small and large animals and humans successfully, but not for AMP application as of yet. The success of mRNA-lipid nanoparticle vaccines against single-stranded, positive (+) sense RNA beta coronavirus COVID-19 indicates an encouraging perspective of biological therapeutics, including a renaissance of the antimicrobial peptide-based battle against multidrug-resistant bacterial, oomycete, and fungal pathogens both in animals and perhaps in plants. The Research Topic intends to open a platform for pioneering publication in this research field.

The present Research Topic aims at gathering relevant articles (such as original research papers, perspectives, and full and mini-review articles) opening a new chapter in the battle with MDR with the tool of AMPs optimized at mRNA level and delivered as ITVmRNA. The specific topics of the research topic are including, but not limited to:

· Antimicrobial Peptides and Antimicrobial Nucleic Acids as Antibacterial and Antiviral Agents;

· Antimicrobial peptide, and mRNA;

· mRNA therapy

· In vitro transcribed and optimized RNA-based therapeutics;

· Experiments on autoimmune mutants in model model-organisms;

· Genetics and immunity;

· Structure identification, bioinformatics, quantitative structure analysis (QASR) optimization of single-gene encoded ribosomal templated AMPs;

· Discovery, structure identification non-ribosomal templated (NRP) amps, revealing the genetic organization and regulation of the respective biosynthetic gene complexes;

· Plant immunity

Keywords: Multidrug-resistance (MDR), Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs), mRNA-Therapy, mRNA administration, mRNA immunogenicity, Innate immunity, Plant immunity, (Auto)immune experimental models


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