CSIC / Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos
Péptidos y Proteínas con Actividad Antifúngica
Dr. Jose F. Marcos
Resto de Miembros:
Dra. Mónica Gandía
Natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides are being intensively studied as alternatives for the control of microorganisms in medicine, agriculture and food preservation (Marcos et al., 2008). Peptides with antifungal activity have not received as much attention as antibacterial peptides, probably as consequence of the perceived higher impact of bacterial infections in human health. However, a number of short peptides, either from natural origin or de novo designed, have demonstrated very promising activities against major fungal pathogens. Our group has made sound contributions to the identification and design of novel peptides with improved antifungal activity by modifying natural peptides (Muñoz & Marcos, 2006; Enrique et al., 2009), using rational design tools (López-García et al., 2000) or by combinatorial approaches (López-García et al., 2002). A detailed understanding of the antimicrobial mechanism is of high priority if peptides are to be considered as useful antimicrobial agents (Marcos & Gandía, 2009). It also might illuminate novel targets for antifungal therapy in the fungal cell. Our research has been focused to fungal pathogens of plants and fruits such as the citrus pathogen Penicillium digitatum, but has used other pathogens of medical interest as Aspergillus fumigatus or the model organisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Neurospora crassa. We have studied in detail the mode of action of selected antifungal peptides through cellular, molecular and genomic approaches (Muñoz et al., 2006; López-García et al., 2010; Muñoz et al., 2012; Muñoz et al., 2013b), and have proposed the hexapeptide PAF26 as a model cell-penetrating antifungal peptide of high selectivity against filamentous fungi and low toxicity to bacterial and other eukaryotic cells (Muñoz et al., 2013a). We are also using antifungal peptides to uncover fundamental processes in the biology of fungi. For instance, by studying the role of the fungal cell wall as the interaction partner with peptides and also in fungal virulence. Finally, we are exploring the significance of antifungal proteins of fungal origin in the biological cycle of the producer fungus, and their potential use as natural antifungal molecules. The (biotechnological) production of short antifungal peptides and proteins suited to their practical use to control pathogenic fungi is our ultimate goal.
Enrique M, Manzanares P, Yuste M, Martínez M, Vallés S, Marcos JF, 2009. Food Microbiol 26, 340-346.
López-García B, Gandía M, Muñoz A, Carmona L, Marcos JF, 2010. BMC Microbiol. 10, 289.
López-García B, González-Candelas L, Pérez-Payá E, Marcos JF, 2000. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 13, 837-846.
López-García B, Pérez-Payá E, Marcos JF, 2002. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68, 2453-2460.
Marcos JF, Gandía M, 2009. Expert Opin. Drug Discov. 4, 659-671.
Marcos JF, Muñoz A, Pérez-Payá E, Misra S, López-García B, 2008. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 46, 273-301.
Muñoz A, Gandía M, Harries E, Carmona L, Read ND, Marcos JF, 2013a. Fungal Biol. Rev. 26, 146-155.
Muñoz A, Harries E, Contreras-Valenzuela A, Carmona L, Read ND, Marcos JF, 2013b. PLoS ONE 8, e54813.
Muñoz A, López-García B, Marcos JF, 2006. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 50, 3847-3855.
Muñoz A, Marcos JF, 2006. J. Appl. Microbiol. 101, 1199-1207.
Muñoz A, Marcos JF, Read ND, 2012. Mol. Microbiol. 85, 89-106.
©2013 Micelio. Red Temática Española de Hongos Filamentosos.