Thanatin – an Insect-derived Antimicrobial Peptide Active against Pathogenic Gram-negative Bacteria

Swiss researchers have recently revealed the mechanism by which the insect-derived antimicrobial peptide thanatin targets the intermembrane protein complex required for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) transport in Escherichia coli. Employing a series of elegant techniques directed at increasing levels of magnification and ultimately, structural determination by NMR, these researchers show how thanatin interferes with assembly of the seven-member macromolecular protein complex which forms a molecular bridge supporting ATP-driven transport of LPS from the inner membrane to the Continue reading

Peptide vaccines: the future of immunotherapy?

It is widely accepted that vaccines are valuable preparations for prevention against life-threatening diseases such as polio, measles and smallpox and their utilization led to control and/or eradication of aforementioned infectious diseases. Common drawbacks in classical vaccine formulations led to the development of less allergenic and more specific peptide vaccines that usually consist of 20-30 amino acids and an external adjuvant to enhance immunogenicity of peptide epitopes, which are normally weak antigens and could therefore Continue reading

A Report on the 35th European Peptide Symposium. Dublin, Ireland. 26th – 31st August 2018

As Finbarr O’Harte, co-chair of the 35th European Peptide Symposium (EPS), highlighted during his concluding remarks, this meeting was hosted in a venue consistently named for a peptide event. Held at the Helix on the campus of Dublin City University (DCU), the EPS biennial international symposium happened for the first time since 1989 in Ireland, one of the recent member states which joined the EPS in 2008. The Symposium was opened on the 26th of Continue reading

Targeted protein degradation as a new paradigm in drug discovery. Is there a role for peptides?

Despite the large number of new, therapeutically relevant proteins discovered in recent years, classical drug discovery strategies have not been particularly successful in finding suitable small-molecule modulators. Targeted protein degradation has raised considerable interest from pharmaceutical/biotech companies and academic groups as a novel paradigm in drug discovery. Two main strategies to generate protein degraders have been identified: 1) Protein-targeting chimeric molecules (PROTACs), and 2) Hydrophobic tagging (HyT). In the first case, multifunctional hybrid molecules containing Continue reading

Peptide Companion – Excel Version – Community Project

Maybe you have heard about, or actually you may have used in your peptide synthesis endeavours the program called Peptide Companion. This program was written by Michal Lebl, Viktor Krchnak, and Jiri Lebl in 1992 and is still installed on many peptide chemist’s computers across laboratories everywhere. However, upgrades to new versions of Windows have made it unusable. We were approached by several peptide chemists with a question when we will make a new version Continue reading

Funded Ph.D. position at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

We are seeking a well-qualified and highly motivated candidate for the position of a doctoral student to carry out a peptide-based drug-design project involving a multi-disciplinary approach. The project targets the interaction between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone ERp44 and the collagenous hormone adiponectin. Adiponectin, abundantly and exclusively secreted from adipocytes (fat cells), exerts a wide range of beneficial functions against obesity-associated pathologies and is a potent biotherapeutic. In the ER, ERp44 tightly regulates oligomerization of Continue reading

A Report on the 2nd Meeting of the Italian Peptide Society

The 2nd meeting of the Italian Peptide Society (ItPS) has been held at the Congress Center of the University of Naples ‘Federico II’ on June 5-6, 2018. The event, organized with the efforts of the members of the ItPS Scientific Committee has had an high attendance with the participation of more than 80 members of the recently born Italian Peptide Society and some invited guests from Italy and foreign countries. During the two days meeting Continue reading

Small Proteins, Big Data

The possibility that a subset of biological molecules has been overlooked, and is waiting to be discovered, is always intriguing. For small proteins (proteins of around 100 amino acid residues or fewer) there is evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case. In this article, I examine the defining characteristics of small proteins and survey the methods by which such proteins are analysed. The graphical abstract depicts NMR models of human sarcolipin (image of Continue reading

10th International Peptide Symposium and 55th Japanese Peptide Symposium

Dear European Peptide Society Members, As you may be aware, the 10th International Peptide Symposium (10th IPS), in conjunction with the 55th Japanese Peptide Symposium (55th JPS), will be held this coming December 3 to 7 in Kyoto, Japan. (https://www.aeplan.co.jp/10thips/) Scheduled talks include Plenary Lectures to be given by Professor Dale Boger (The Scripps Institute) and Professor William DeGrado (University of California, San Francisco), and presentations by invited speakers working on different fields in peptide Continue reading