Development of Amphipathic Antimicrobial Peptide Foldamers Based on Magainin 2 Sequence

ChemMedChem. 2019 Nov 20;14(22):1911-1916. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201900460. Epub 2019 Nov 6.


Magainin 2 (Mag 2), which is isolated from the skin of frogs, is a representative antimicrobial peptide (AMP), exerts its antimicrobial activity via microbial membrane disruption. It has been reported that both the amphipathicity and helical structure of Mag 2 play an important role in its antimicrobial activity. In this study, we revealed that the sequence of 17 amino acid residues in Mag 2 (peptide 7) is required to exert sufficient activity. We also designed a set of Mag 2 derivatives, based on enhancement of helicity and/or amphipathicity, by incorporation of α,α-disubstituted amino acid residues into the Mag 2 fragment, and evaluated their preferred secondary structures and their antimicrobial activities against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. As a result, peptide 11 formed a stable helical structure in solution, and possessed potent antimicrobial activities against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria without significant cytotoxicity.

Keywords: Amphipathicity; Antimicrobial peptides; Helicity; Hemolysis; α,α-disubstituted amino acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / chemistry
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Drug Development*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Magainins / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Structure
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Xenopus Proteins / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Magainins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • magainin 2 peptide, Xenopus