Transcriptional regulation of human defense peptides: a new direction in infection control

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Abstract

While antibiotics remain as a major therapy against life threatening pathogenic infections, they often lead to side effects like rashes, gastrointestinal and central nervous system reactions to serious allergies or organ damage. These adverse effects alongside the emergence of multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria and the decline in the development of new antibiotics, have posed a serious impediment for effective antibiotic therapy. A paradigm shift in attitudes has led us to think about the possibility of controlling infections with the indigenous antimicrobial peptides synthesized by human beings. It has been observed that few transcription factors can stimulate more than three dozen defense peptides in the human system. Hence, during the infection stage, if we can induce these common factors, most of the infections could be healed from inside without the administration of any antibiotics. The efficiency of such peptides is being proven in clinical tests leading to the development of drugs.

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