Low cationicity is important for systemic in vivo efficacy of database-derived peptides against drug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens

Biswajit Mishra, Jayaram Lakshmaiah Narayana, Tamara Lushnikova, Xiuqing Wang, Guangshun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


As bacterial resistance to traditional antibiotics continues to emerge, new alternatives are urgently needed. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important candidates. However, how AMPs are designed with in vivo efficacy is poorly understood. Our study was designed to understand structural moieties of cationic peptides that would lead to their successful use as antibacterial agents. In contrast to the common perception, serum binding and peptide stability were not the major reasons for in vivo failure in our studies. Rather, our systematic study of a series of peptides with varying lysines revealed the significance of low cationicity for systemic in vivo efficacy against Gram-positive pathogens. We propose that peptides with biased amino acid compositions are not favored to associate with multiple host factors and are more likely to show in vivo efficacy. Thus, our results uncover a useful design strategy for developing potent peptides against multidrug-resistant pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13517-13522
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Basic amino acids
  • In vivo efficacy
  • Peptide design
  • Protease stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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