Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dental Researchers Find Novel Peptide In Saliva That Kills Broad Range Of Fungi And Bacteria

Date:
March 13, 2002
Source:
University At Buffalo
Summary:
A small piece of protein from one end of a larger molecule found in human saliva has been shown in laboratory tests to have potent antimicrobial activity against several types of bacteria and fungi, some of which are resistant to current drugs.

SAN DIEGO -- A small piece of protein from one end of a larger molecule found in human saliva has been shown in laboratory tests to have potent antimicrobial activity against several types of bacteria and fungi, some of which are resistant to current drugs.

If these findings hold up in animal and human trials, the peptide, labeled MUC7 20-mer, could form the basis for promising new drugs for treating a wide range of infections, said Libuse Bobek, Ph.D., associate professor of oral biology in the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and senior scientist on the research.

Results of the research were presented here today (March 8) at the International Association of Dental Research meeting.

"There is an increasing need for new antimicrobial agents, especially antifungals," said Bobek, "because there are only a handful of these drugs, they are used widely, and several fungal strains already have developed resistance. This is a particular problem for immuno-compromised patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS, organ transplant patients and chemotherapy patients."

This novel peptide, on which Bobek holds a provisional patent, has been shown in vitro to kill the fungal agents that cause the most common opportunistic infections that threaten these patients -- candidiasis, cryptococcosis and aspergillosis -- as well as several bacteria, including E. coli and P. gingivalis, which cause serious intestinal and oral infections, respectively, and S. mutans, which causes dental caries. Moreover, the peptide is active (in vitro) at very low concentrations -- 10 micrograms per milliliter -- shows little or no toxicity to mammalian cells and low tendency to elicit resistance, Bobek said.

"MUC-7 20-mer appears to be a very versatile agent, active at very low dosing, which works comparable to or better than current drugs," she said. "It has a different mechanism of action, but we don't know yet specifically what the mechanism is."

The researchers know that the peptide causes changes in fungal cell-membrane potential; is internalized into the cells, and most likely acts on a specific part of the sub-cellular machinery.

With such potent antimicrobial potential in human saliva, why do people have oral infections? Because the protein segment, the peptide, rarely is present by itself and the large protein molecule from which it is derived doesn't have microbicidal activity, Bobek noted.

The peptide Bobek and colleagues are working with currently is composed of 20 amino acids, but they have found that smaller forms of the peptide still are active in vitro and are experimenting with increasingly shorter pieces.

"We think this naturally-occurring agent has high therapeutic potential for treating microbial infections in general and drug-resistant fungal strains in particular," Bobek said. "It also has potential as a component of artificial saliva for treating salivary dysfunctions that result in increased plaque formation, cavities, gum disease and fungal infections."

Additional researchers on the study are Hongsa Situ, D.D.S.; Christina J. Smith, and Brian M. Kritzman, all of the Department of Oral Biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University At Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University At Buffalo. "Dental Researchers Find Novel Peptide In Saliva That Kills Broad Range Of Fungi And Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020311075748.htm>.
University At Buffalo. (2002, March 13). Dental Researchers Find Novel Peptide In Saliva That Kills Broad Range Of Fungi And Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020311075748.htm
University At Buffalo. "Dental Researchers Find Novel Peptide In Saliva That Kills Broad Range Of Fungi And Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020311075748.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins