Drug design from nature: discovery and application of cyclic peptides

David Craik

Professor David Craik (University of Queensland, IMB)

Drug Design from Nature: discovery and application of cyclic peptides

Naturally occurring cyclic peptides offer great potential as leads for drug design. This talk will focus on one class of cyclic peptides known as cyclotides, which are topologically unique proteins in that they have a head-to-tail cyclised peptide backbone and a cystine knotted arrangement of disulfide bonds.  This makes them exceptionally stable to chemical, thermal and enzymatic treatments and, indeed, they are amongst nature’s most stable proteins.  Because of their exceptional stability and well-defined structures cyclotides make excellent templates for drug design applications. This presentation will describe the discovery of cyclotides in plants, their structural characterization, and applications in drug design.