Cyclotides: macrocyclic peptides with applications in drug design and agriculture

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Jan;67(1):9-16. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0159-3. Epub 2009 Oct 1.


Cyclotides are disulfide-rich peptides from plants that are exceptionally stable as a result of their unique cyclic cystine knot structural motif. Their natural role is thought to be as plant defence agents, most notably against insect pests, but they also have potential applications in drug design and agriculture. This article identifies gaps in current knowledge on cyclotides and suggests future directions for research into this fascinating family of ultra-stable mini-proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cyclotides / chemical synthesis
  • Cyclotides / chemistry*
  • Cyclotides / metabolism
  • Drug Design
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oldenlandia / metabolism
  • Pesticides / chemistry
  • Pesticides / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Cyclotides
  • Pesticides
  • kalata B1