The range of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is very broad and covers a large and diverse group of molecules produced across different kingdoms of life. In a sense, all peptides that possess any activity against any microorganism can be classified as an AMP. Typically however, the AMP label is associated with oligopeptide chains of moderate length featuring two or more positively charged residues. Therefore, the AMP label is often considered synonymous to ‘cationic antimicrobial peptides’, although anionic AMPs also exist, such as maximin H5 or dermcidin. AMPs can be linear or cyclic, the latter typically involving disulfide bonds or the polycyclic thioether amino acid lantionine. Quite characteristically, most AMPs only adopt a specific structure or more rigid conformation upon interaction with a membrane, while being flexible and unstructured in solution.
The CLP community, which so far has blended as isolated researcher groups in the larger world of AMP research, should seek each other out and come together to realize this exciting potential.
Read the editorial here.
Geudens N, Sinnaeve D and Martins JC. Cyclic lipodepsipeptides: time for a concerted action to unlock their application potential? Future Medicinal Chemistry (2018) 10(5), 479-481