Antimicrobial peptide capsids of de novo design

Emiliana De Santis, Hasan Alkassem, Baptiste Lamarre, Nilofar Faruqui, Angelo Bella, James Noble, Nicola Micale, Santanu Ray, Jonathan R. Burns, Alexander R. Yon, Bart W. Hoogenboom, Maxim G. Ryadnov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The spread of bacterial resistance to antibiotics poses the need for antimicrobial discovery. With traditional search paradigms being exhausted, approaches that are altogether different from antibiotics may offer promising and creative solutions. Here, we introduce a de novo peptide topology that—by emulating the virus architecture—assembles into discrete antimicrobial capsids. Using the combination of high-resolution and real-time imaging, we demonstrate that these artificial capsids assemble as 20-nm hollow shells that attack bacterial membranes and upon landing on phospholipid bilayers instantaneously (seconds) convert into rapidly expanding pores causing membrane lysis (minutes). The designed capsids show broad antimicrobial activities, thus executing one primary function—they destroy bacteria on contact.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2263
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    Number of pages11
    JournalNature Communications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2017

    Bibliographical note

    © The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit licenses/by/4.0/.


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