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Mucino, Gabriel; Castro-Obregon, Susana; Hernandez-Pando, Rogelio; Del Rio, Gabriel (2016)

AUTOPHAGY AS A TARGET FOR THERAPEUTIC USES OF MULTIFUNCTIONAL PEPTIDES

IUBMB Life 68(4):259-267
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The emergence of complex diseases is promoting a change from one-target to multitarget drugs and peptides are ideal molecules to fulfill this polypharmacologic role. Here we review current status in the design of polypharmacological peptides aimed to treat complex diseases, focusing on tuberculosis. In this sense, combining multiple activities in single molecules is a two-sided sword, as both positive and negative side effects might arise. These polypharmacologic compounds may be directed to regulate autophagy, a catabolic process that enables cells to eliminate intracellular microbes (xenophagy), such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MBT). Here we review some strategies to control MBT infection and propose that a peptide combining both antimicrobial and pro-autophagic activities would have a greater potential to limit MBT infection. This endeavor may complement the knowledge gained in understanding the mechanism of action of antibiotics and may lead to the design of better polypharmacological peptides to treat complex diseases such as tuberculosis. © 2016 IUBMB Life, 68(4):259-267, 2016.