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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 189016, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/189016
Review Article

Current and Potential Applications of Host-Defense Peptides and Proteins in Urology

The Stone Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2660 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3Z6

Received 10 August 2014; Revised 21 October 2014; Accepted 24 October 2014

Academic Editor: Joel E. López-Meza

Copyright © 2015 Joey Chor Yee Lo and Dirk Lange. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The use of antibiotics has become increasingly disfavored as more multidrug resistant pathogens are on the rise. A promising alternative to the use of these conventional drugs includes antimicrobial peptides or host-defense peptides. These peptides typically consist of short amino acid chains with a net cationic charge and a substantial portion of hydrophobic residues. They mainly target the bacterial cell membrane but are also capable of translocating through the membrane and target intracellular components, making it difficult for bacteria to gain resistance as multiple essential cellular processes are being targeted. The use of these peptides in the field of biomedical therapies has been examined, and the different approaches to using them under various settings are constantly being discovered. In this review, we discuss the current and potential applications of these host-defense peptides in the field of urology. Besides the use of these peptides as antimicrobial agents, the value of these biological molecules has recently been expanded to their use as antitumor and anti-kidney-stone agents.