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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2011 Dec 16;11(1):37-51. doi: 10.1038/nrd3591.

Designing antimicrobial peptides: form follows function.

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Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, University of British Columbia, 2259 Lower Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.

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  • Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2012 Feb;11(2):168.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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