Alternative mechanisms of action of cationic antimicrobial peptides on bacteria

John D.F. Hale, Robert E.W. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

369 Citations (Scopus)


Cationic antimicrobial peptides are a novel type of antibiotic offering much potential in the treatment of microbial-related diseases. They offer many advantages for commercial development, including a broad spectrum of action and modest size. However, despite the identification or synthetic production of thousands of such peptides, the mode of action remains elusive, except for a few examples. While the dogma for the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides against bacteria is believed to be through pore formation or membrane barrier disruption, some peptides clearly act differently and other intracellular target sites have been identified. This article presents an updated review of how cationic antimicrobial peptides are able to affect bacterial killing, with a focus on internal targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-959
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Dec 2007


  • Antibacterial
  • Cationic antimicrobial peptide
  • Mechanism of action
  • Synergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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