Designing and optimizing new antimicrobial peptides: all targets are not the same

Adriana Barreto-Santamaría, Manuel E. Patarroyo, Hernando Curtidor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Because the resistance of microorganisms to the available antibiotics is a growing healthcare problem worldwide, the search for new antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that provide useful therapeutic options has been increasing in importance. Many initial candidates have had to be discarded after having advanced to the preclinical and clinical stages. This has led to substantial losses in terms of time and money. For that reason, the essential characteristics of AMPs (i.e. their activity, selectivity, stability in physiological conditions and low production cost) must be considered in their design. In addition, peptides could be active against several kinds of cells with activity and selectivity resulting from interaction with multiple target cell components, which sometimes are present in mammalian cells as well. Thus, the cellular composition is important in the AMP-target cell interaction and must be considered in the design of AMPs, too. This review describes general aspects of AMP design, limitations concerning their therapeutic application, and optimization strategies for overcoming such limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-373
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 18 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing and optimizing new antimicrobial peptides: all targets are not the same'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this