Activity optimization of an undecapeptide analogue derived from a frog-skin antimicrobial peptide

Mol Cells. 2011 Jan;31(1):49-54. doi: 10.1007/s10059-011-0005-y. Epub 2010 Nov 23.


While natural antimicrobial peptides are potential therapeutic agents, their physicochemical properties and bioactivity generally need to be enhanced for clinical and commercial development. We have previously developed a cationic, amphipathic α-helical, 11-residue peptide (named herein GA-W2: FLGWLFKWASK-NH₂) with potent antimicrobial and hemolytic activity, which was derived from a 24-residue, natural antimicrobial peptide isolated from frog skin. Here, we attempted to optimize peptide bioactivity by a rational approach to sequence modification. Seven analogues were generated from GA-W2, and their activities were compared with that of a 12-residue peptide, omiganan, which is being developed for clinical and commercial applications. Most of the modifications reported here improved antimicrobial activity. Among them, the GA-K4AL (FAKWAFKWLKK-NH₂) peptide displayed the most potent antimicrobial activity with negligible hemolytic activity, superior to that of omiganan. The therapeutic index of GA-K4AL was improved more than 53- and more than 31-fold against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively, compared to that of the starting peptide, GA-W2. Given its relatively shorter length and simpler amino acid composition, our sequence-optimized GA-K4AL peptide may thus be a potentially useful antimicrobial peptide agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / chemistry
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Hemolysis
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Ranidae
  • Skin / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides