Synthetic mimic of antimicrobial peptide with nonmembrane-disrupting antibacterial properties

Biomacromolecules. 2008 Nov;9(11):2980-3. doi: 10.1021/bm800855t. Epub 2008 Oct 14.


Polyguanidinium oxanorbornene ( PGON) was synthesized from norbornene monomers via ring-opening metathesis polymerization. This polymer was observed to be strongly antibacterial against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria as well as nonhemolytic against human red blood cells. Time-kill studies indicated that this polymer is lethal and not just bacteriostatic. In sharp contrast to previously reported SMAMPs (synthetic mimics of antimicrobial peptides), PGON did not disrupt membranes in vesicle-dye leakage assays and microscopy experiments. The unique biological properties of PGON, in same ways similar to cell-penetrating peptides, strongly encourage the examination of other novel guanidino containing macromolecules as powerful and selective antimicrobial agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Guanidines / chemistry
  • Guanidines / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Guanidines
  • Polymers

Grants and funding

National Institutes of Health, United States