Lantibiotics: Promising candidates for future applications in health care.

International journal of medical microbiology : IJMM

PubMedID: 24210177

Dischinger J, Basi Chipalu S, Bierbaum G. Lantibiotics: Promising candidates for future applications in health care. Int J Med Microbiol. 2013;.
The immense potential of bacteria for production of antimicrobials represents an inexhaustible source of new antibiotics. An emerging class of natural products is constituted by ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs). "Lantibiotics" (lanthionine and/or methyl-lanthionine containing antibiotics) belong to the earliest members of this class. The characteristic thioether amino acids are introduced into the precursor peptides by enzyme-mediated posttranslational modifications. The encouraging antimicrobial activity of lantibiotics against multiresistant clinical pathogens, their stability against proteases, heat and oxidation make lantibiotics interesting candidates for novel antimicrobial applications in many areas of the healthcare sector and associated industries. In addition to applications as alternatives to classical antibiotics, lantibiotics can be used as probiotics, prophylactics or additives. Furthermore, the in vitro activity of the lantibiotic modification machinery opens the possibility to generate either improved synthetic lantibiotic peptides or to introduce thioether cross-links into existing therapeutics.