Stapled peptide that inhibits bacterial transporter

Multidrug-resistant infection has become a worldwide epidemic in recent years especially in hospitals and other community-associated settings, causing great suffering of patients and huge healthcare burden. According to CDC, at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections in the United States. Therefore, innovative approaches are needed to combat multidrug resistant bacterial infections.

The Karplus group at Harvard has designed a new stapled peptide that great potential in combating resistant E.coli infection by targeting an essential multi-drug efflux pump EmrE. The lead peptide was chosen among a family of peptide candidates designed by microsecond molecular dynamic simulation. The lead peptide showed superior binding affinity to the target protein, good inhibition rate of ethidium efflux in E.coli and littlie cell toxicity. It can be used with conventional antimicrobials to treat multi-drug resistant E.coli infection.