Antimicrobial PEGtides: A Modular Poly(ethylene glycol)-Based Peptidomimetic Approach to Combat Bacteria

Minseong Kim, Wonsik Mun, Woo Hyuk Jung, Joonhee Lee, Gayoung Cho, Jisoo Kwon, Dong June Ahn, Robert J. Mitchell, Byeong Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Despite their high potency, the widespread implementation of natural antimicrobial peptides is still challenging due to their low scalability and high hemolytic activities. Herein, we address these issues by employing a modular approach to mimic the key amino acid residues present in antimicrobial peptides, such as lysine, leucine, and serine, but on the highly biocompatible poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) backbone. A series of these PEG-based peptides (PEGtides) were developed using functional epoxide monomers, corresponding to each key amino acid, with several possessing highly potent bactericidal activities and controlled selectivities, with respect to their hemolytic behavior. The critical role of the composition and the structure of the PEGtides in their selectivities was further supported by coarse-grained molecular dynamic simulations. This modular approach is anticipated to provide the design principles necessary for the future development of antimicrobial polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9143-9153
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was primarily supported by Samsung Research Funding & Incubation Center of Samsung Electronics under Project Number SRFC-MA1602-07. This work was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2021R1A2C3004978, NRF-2020R1A2C2012158, and NRF-2021R1A2C3009955).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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