A comparison of linear and cyclic peptoid oligomers as potent antimicrobial agents

Mia Lace Huang, Sung Bin Y. Shin, Meredith A. Benson, Victor J. Torres, Kent Kirshenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the antimicrobial activities of N-substituted glycine "peptoid" oligomers incorporating cationic and hydrophobic side chains. Head-to-tail macrocyclization was employed to enhance antimicrobial activity. Both linear and cyclic peptoids, ranging from six to ten residues, demonstrate potent antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These peptoids do not cause significant lysis of human erythrocytes, indicating selective antimicrobial activity. Conformational ordering established upon macrocyclization is generally associated with an enhanced capacity to inhibit bacterial cell growth. Moreover, increased hydrophobic surface area also plays a role in improving antimicrobial activity. We demonstrate the potency of a cyclic peptoid in exerting antimicrobial activity against clinical strains of S. aureus while deterring the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2012


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Foldamers
  • Macrocycles
  • Peptidomimetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Organic Chemistry


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