Targeting and synergistic action of an antifungal peptide in an antibiotic drug-delivery system

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Abstract

Amphotericin B (AmB) has been widely used against fungal infections throughout almost the entire body, including the skin, nails, oral cavity, respiratory tract, and urinary tract. However, the development of AmB-loaded nanoparticles demands a novel technique that reduces its toxicity and other associated problems. Here, we developed a pH-responsive and redox-sensitive polymer-based AmB-delivery carrier system. In particular, this system was functionalized by conjugation with the antifungal peptide histatin 5, which acts both as a targeting ligand and a synergistic antifungal molecule against Candida albicans, a major systemic fungal pathogen of humans. Our results in vitro and in vivo suggest that this drug-delivery system may serve as a novel tool to facilitate the use of antimicrobial peptides as targeting ligands to pathogenic microbes, which would open new avenues of investigation in the field of drug delivery.

Graphical abstract

Schematic illustration of a nanoparticle conjugated with histatin 5 and Amphotericin B, as well as GSH- or Trx-mediated drug release.

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