Chemistry 2010 Oct;16(40):12174-81
Department of Bioorganic Synthesis, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.
The cyclic cationic antimicrobial peptide gramicidin S (GS) is an effective topical antibacterial agent that is toxic for human red blood cells (hemolysis). Herein, we present a series of amphiphilic derivatives of GS with either two or four positive charges and characteristics ranging between very polar and very hydrophobic. Screening of this series of peptide derivatives identified a compound that combines effective antibacterial activity with virtually no toxicity within the same concentration range. This peptide acts against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including several MRSA strains, and represents an interesting lead for the development of a broadly applicable antibiotic.