Peptide inspired by Komodo dragon blood promotes wound healing

Researchers in the United States use peptide from Komodo dragon to enhance wound healing in mice.

Komodo dragon

Wound infections are a major concern in medicine, further complicated by antibacterial resistance.

However, a cationic antimicrobial peptide found in the blood of the Komodo dragon may inspire a new treatment for promoting wound healing.

As part of a project funded by the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency, researchers have developed a synthetic peptide called DRGN-1 based on a histone H1-derived peptide from the Komodo dragon.

DRGN-1 was evaluated for its antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity against two stubborn biofilm-producing bacterial strains — Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

DRGN-1 was found to make the bacterial membranes permeable and exhibit potential antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity as well as promote keratinocyte migration. Consequently, wound healing was significantly enhanced by DRGN-1 in both uninfected and mixed biofilm-infected wounds in mice.

Publishing their findings in NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes
(online, 11 April 2017), the researchers conclude that DRGN-1 would make a good candidate for further development as a topical wound treatment.


[1] Chung E, Dean S, Propst C et al. Komodo dragon-inspired synthetic peptide DRGN-1 promotes wound-healing of a mixed-biofilm infected wound. NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes 2017. doi: 10.1038/s41522-017-0017-2

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, May 2017, Vol 9, No 5;9(5):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202630

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