'Non-stick' frog protein spawns new antibiotics


WHAT do you get if you cross a frog with a non-stick frying pan? Possibly a new generation of antibiotics. For years, researchers have tried to make antibiotics from antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) – proteins found in almost all animals, but particularly in the skin of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. AMPs provide the first line of defence against invading bacteria, but when injected into the body, they are quickly degraded by enzymes called proteases. If the concentration of AMPs is increased to overcome this they become toxic,
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