Anti-Microbial Peptide Crocodillin

Dolf Geldof d.geldof at
Fri May 6 19:10:37 EST 2005

Anybody heard anything NEW about this subject since the BBC documentary in
2000 and this info of  March 2002?


BBC film producer Jill Fullerton-Smith, while taping a documentary about
crocodiles, made a startling observation: Australian salt-water crocodiles
fight constantly, inflict horrible wounds on each other, but never get
infected. The experts had no explanation. Analyzing a blood sample, Dr. Gill
Diamond of New Jersey Medical School, found a peptide that ``blew away
bacteria'' without damaging normal cells. The peptide is called crocodillin
(Sunday Times 3/17/00).

Will this be developed for possible human use? About 10 years of
bureaucratic delay and a cost of some $800 million stand in the way.

Readily synthesized peptides, modeled on sequences found in honey bees and
silk moths, were discovered by Dr. Bruce Merrifield and coworkers to be very
promising as antibiotics. Because his peptides are made with the d-isomer of
amino acids, they resist degradation by ordinary enzymes. However, no
commercial interest capable of affording the FDA hurdle-which was only $100
million at the time- could be found. The discovery languishes while multiply
drug-resistant bacteria proliferate. (Access to Energy, July 1996, available
in the 25-year CD-ROM Archive).

See also:

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