Tool developments for structure-function studies of host defense peptides

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25 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial peptides, or host defense peptides, are universal signaling and effector molecules in host defense and innate immunity. This article highlights various tools developed for cathelicidins and defensins, ranging from peptide identification, production, and structural biology, including the eight databases for antimicrobial peptides. Novel peptides can be identified from natural sources at both gene and protein levels. Solid-phase synthesis and bacterial expression are the two important methods for peptide production. Three-dimensional structures of antimicrobial peptides, primarily determined by solution NMR techniques, are essential for an in-depth understanding of the mode of action. The introduction of octanoyl phosphatidylglycerol as a bacterial membrane-mimetic model provides new insights into peptide-lipid interactions. The incorporation of structure and activity data into the antimicrobial peptide database ( will lead to an integrated understanding of these peptides via structural bioinformatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalProtein and Peptide Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Cathelicidins
  • Database
  • Defensins
  • NMR
  • Structural bioinformatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry


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