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Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(25):2732-47.

Peptoids: bio-inspired polymers as potential pharmaceuticals.

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Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-5440, USA.


Peptoids are a developing class of peptide-like oligomers originally invented for drug discovery in the early 1990s. While peptides hold great promise for therapeutic applications, current development of peptide-based pharmaceuticals is hindered by their potential for misfolding and aggregation, and particularly, for rapid in vivo degradation post-administration. Researchers have investigated alternative peptide-like constructs that may be able to circumvent such complications. Peptoids comprise a peptide-based backbone and N-substituted glycines for side chain residues, resulting in complete protease-resistance. Synthesis of peptoid sequences up to 50 units in length allows for controlled sequence composition and incorporation of diverse side chain chemistries. Though the landscape of peptoid structure is not clearly defined, secondary, tertiary, loop, turn, and random structures have been identified. As protease-resistant isomers of peptides, peptoids are being developed as versatile molecular tools in biochemistry and biophysics, and are becoming attractive candidates for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Peptoids have thus far demonstrated bioactivity as protein mimics and as replacements for small molecule drugs. In this review, we discuss the most recent advances in peptoid research on the therapeutic front in the last few years, including in vitro and in vivo studies in the fields of lung surfactant therapy, antimicrobial agents, diagnostics, and cancer. We particularly focus on the biophysical activity of lipid-associated peptoids and their potential therapeutic applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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