Spring 2021 Seminar Series: Myriam Cotten
College of William & Mary
Host: Kalina Hristova
Host-defense peptides play a crucial role in preventing and fighting infections and inflammation. Beyond their ability to directly eradicate pathogens by permeabilizing their membranes or targeting intracellular processes, they can also perform immunomodulatory functions that include immune cell chemotaxis and trained innate immunity. Piscidins, which were the first host defense peptides discovered in the mast cells of animals, exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-endotoxin, and anesthetic properties. Our research investigates piscidins in terms of their molecular targets and mechanisms of action. Employing biochemical and biophysical tools, such as high-resolution solid-state NMR, neutron diffraction, oriented circular dichroism, permeabilization assays, biological-activity testing, and confocal microscopy, we map at the molecular level the landscape of intrinsic structural features and environmental conditions that confer to a single peptide family a multiplicity of functions in support of host defense. Our most recent work explores the triangle of interactions that exist between piscidins, redox ions, and bioactive lipids. Principles learned from these studies could help design novel therapeutics to treat drug-resistant infections and immune-related diseases.
Zoom Seminar Info:
Meeting ID: 982 0915 3548