This week in therapeutics




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Infectious disease


Accessory gene regulator cognate receptor (AgrC receptor)

An in vitro study suggests autoinducing peptide III (AIP-III) mimetics that inhibit AgrC receptors could help treat toxic shock syndrome and Staphylococcus aureus infections. In cultured S. aureus cells, analysis of AIP-III-based macrocyclic peptides led to the development of peptide mimetics that inhibit AgrC receptors with picomolar potency. In coculture, addition of the peptide mimetics decreased S. aureus hemolysis compared with addition of native AIP peptides. In vitro, the peptide mimetics decreased toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 production by S. aureus compared with control peptides. Next steps include identifying the mechanisms of action for the analogs, increasing their potency and stability and testing them in animal models for infection.

SciBX 6(21); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.520
Published online May 30, 2013

Patent application filed; available for licensing from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tal-Gan, Y. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc.; published online May 6, 2013;
Contact: Helen E. Blackwell, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis.