A phosphorylated peptide, named K40H, derived from the constant region of IgMs was detected in human serum by liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry. Synthetic K40H proved to exert a potent in vitro activity against fungal pathogens, and to inhibit HIV-1 replication in vitro and ex vivo. It also showed a therapeutic effect against an experimental infection by Candida albicans in the invertebrate model Galleria mellonella. K40H represents the proof of concept of the innate role that naturally occurring antibody fragments may exert against infectious agents, shedding a new light upon the posthumous role of antibodies and opening a new scenario on the multifaceted functionality of humoral immunity.
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