ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Targeting cardiolipin in pneumonia

October 7, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

U.S. researchers have developed a new way for treating pneumonia resistant to standard first-line therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Instead of attacking the bacteria, the researchers designed a peptide that binds cardiolipin, a host-generated lipid involved in lung tissue inflammation and injury.1

Cardiolipin is found almost exclusively in the membranes of mitochondria, in which it helps maintain membrane architecture and provides stability for enzymes involved in energy metabolism.2,3 Although the lipid exists at low concentrations in healthy lung fluid, previous studies have shown that markedlyhigher levels of cardiolipin occur in animal models of lung injury and inflammation.4,5...