STAR CORES: Protein scaffolds for star-shaped AMPs
Antibiotic resistance is responsible for an estimated 25 000 deaths per year in the EU and 1.5 billion € per year in healthcare costs. A promising alternative to antibiotics is antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), a diverse class of naturally occurring proteins. Similar to antibiotics, AMPs have a broad action spectrum and high efficiency, but resistance to AMPs evolves much more slowly. These compounds are usually produced using chemical synthesis, which requires specialized equipment and personnel and has limited yield. Our project will employ E. coli based cell-free expression platform to produce naturally occurring or artificially designed AMPs. These AMPs are fused to self-assembling star-shaped scaffold proteins to improve their bactericidal efficiency against various infection-causing bacteria. Our aim is to screen various AMPs and scaffold protein complexes, followed by a selection of the best AMP+scaffold combinations in terms of bactericidal property and bio-compatability.
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