Designing antimicrobial peptides: Form follows function

Christopher D. Fjell, Jan A. Hiss, Robert E.W. Hancock, Gisbert Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1180 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Multidrug-resistant bacteria are a severe threat to public health. Conventional antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective as a result of resistance, and it is imperative to find new antibacterial strategies. Natural antimicrobials, known as host defence peptides or antimicrobial peptides, defend host organisms against microbes but most have modest direct antibiotic activity. Enhanced variants have been developed using straightforward design and optimization strategies and are being tested clinically. Here, we describe advanced computer-assisted design strategies that address the difficult problem of relating primary sequence to peptide structure, and are delivering more potent, cost-effective, broad-spectrum peptides as potential next-generation antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalNature Reviews Drug Discovery
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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