Role of membranes in the activities of antimicrobial cationic peptides

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Jan 10;206(2):143-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2002.tb11000.x.


Cationic amphiphilic peptides that are found throughout nature have very broad-spectrum activities against microbes. The initial sites of interaction are with microbial membranes. Although dogma suggests that their lethal action involves disruption of the cytoplasmic membranes, a number of cationic peptides can traverse intact membranes to interact with internal targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects*
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Liposomes
  • Membranes, Artificial


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Liposomes
  • Membranes, Artificial