Guanidylation and tail effects in cationic antimicrobial lipopeptoids

PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041141. Epub 2012 Jul 23.


Background: Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) are attractive scaffolds for the next generation of antimicrobial compounds, due to their broad spectrum of activity against multi-drug resistant bacteria and the reduced fitness of CAMP-insensitive mutants. Unfortunately, they are limited by poor in vivo performance, including ready cleavage by endogenous serum proteases.

Methodology/principal findings: To explore the potential for peptoid residues to replace well studied CAMP scaffolds we have produced a series of antimicrobial lipopeptoids, with sequences similar to previously reported lipopeptides. The activity of the peptoids was assessed against a panel of clinically relevant and laboratory reference bacteria, and the potential for non-specific binding was determined through hemolytic testing and repeating the antimicrobial testing in the presence of added bovine serum albumin (BSA). The most active peptoids displayed good to moderate activity against most of the gram positive strains tested and moderate to limited activity against the gram negatives. Antimicrobial activity was positively correlated with toxicity towards eukaryotic cells, but was almost completely eliminated by adding BSA.

Conclusion/significance: The lipopeptoids had similar activities to the previously reported lipopeptides, confirming their potential to act as replacement, proteolytically stable scaffolds for CAMPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / chemistry*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / toxicity
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Cattle
  • Guanidine / chemistry*
  • Hemolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Peptoids / chemistry*
  • Peptoids / pharmacology*
  • Peptoids / toxicity
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Peptoids
  • Guanidine