Application of Unnatural Amino Acids to the De Novo Design of Selective Antibiotic Peptides

  • Rickey P. HicksEmail author
  • Amanda L. Russell
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 794)


Because of their unique mechanism of cytotoxicity against bacteria and other microorganisms, antimicrobial peptides have received a great deal of attention as possible therapeutic agents. Incorporation of unnatural amino acids into the peptide sequences has the potential to improve the organism selectivity and potency of these peptides as well as increase their metabolic stability. This protocol outlines the logic used to selectively incorporate unnatural amino acid into a peptide sequence in an attempt to obtain peptides with increased therapeutic potential as antibiotic agents.

Key words

Antimicrobial peptides Unnatural amino acids Organism selectivity De novo 



The authors would like to acknowledge funding from the Bacterial Therapeutics Program 2.1 of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, contract # W81XWH-08-2-0095. The authors would also like to acknowledge funding from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center grant number 2006-FRG-1015 and from East Carolina University.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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