Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jianfeng Cai, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Merkler, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Umesh Jinwal, Ph.D.


Antimicrobial peptides, host defense peptides, amphipathicity, biofilms


The emergent resistance of bacteria against the conventional antibiotics has motivated the search for novel antimicrobial agents. Nature abounds with a number of antimicrobial peptides that are a part of our innate immune system and protect us against a variety of pathogenic bacteria. While they are broad-spectrum in their activity and show less drug-resistance induction, their intrinsic metabolic stability limits their potential therapeutic applications. Herein we describe the development of novel broad-spectrum bioactive antimicrobial peptidomimetics AA-peptides. AApeptides were designed based on chiral PNA backbone. Substitution of nucleobases yields AApeptides that are resistant to proteolysis and capable of mimicking peptides. Two types of AApeptides are discussed in this dissertation "[aacute]-AApeptides" and " ã-AApeptides" The therapeutic potential of these AApeptides were accessed by conducting antibacterial assays against a series of both gram-positive, gram-negative bacteria and fungi. These oligomers were characterized using MALDI-TOF and Circular Dichroism spectroscopy (CD). Their invitro toxicity was evaluated against human erythrocytes .We attempted to study their mechanism of action via membrane depolarization assay. We have successfully identified them as antimicrobial agents, pro-inflammatory immune response suppressing agents and as anti-biofilm agents.

Included in

Chemistry Commons