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Materials

Computer Design Targets Resistant Bugs

Database filtering yields promising small peptides effective against MRSA

by Elizabeth K. Wilson
August 6, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 32

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Credit: Guangshun Wang
This computer simulation depicts hydrophilic amino acids (blue) and hydrophobic amino acids (yellow) in the designed peptide DFTamP1.
09032-scicon-Fig2HWangJACScxd.jpg
Credit: Guangshun Wang
This computer simulation depicts hydrophilic amino acids (blue) and hydrophobic amino acids (yellow) in the designed peptide DFTamP1.

A strategy for analyzing a database of anti­microbial peptides shows promise for the computer design of new, more potent antimicrobials—in particular, peptides that kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Guangshun Wang and Biswajit Mishra of the University of Nebraska Medical Center describe a filtering method for generating compounds from their lab’s anti­microbial peptide database. They use a series of filters to select promising combinations of properties—including peptide length, hydrophobicity, and structure—to design peptides with highly tailored bacteria-killing traits (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja305644e). The method has already borne fruit: Wang’s group recently designed a peptide dubbed DFTamP1, which they then synthesized. DFTamP1 rapidly destroyed MRSA in culture. The group has also used its method to identify another molecule, temporin-PTa8L, that also shows potent antimicrobial activity. The group plans to use these two peptides as templates for another round of computer-based peptide engineering. The researchers may also incorporate the filtering technology directly into their database.

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Comments
Bhopal mohapatra (August 21, 2012 11:04 AM)
Good job Biswajit! keep it up

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