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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 25, 2023
  2. Interactions between ionic liquids and biomolecules are of great interest due to the intrinsic properties of ionic liquids and the flexibility allowed by mixing and matching cations and anions to create unique ionic liquids. A number of ionic liquid–biomolecule studies have focused on interactions with proteins, including industrially relevant enzymes. One of these, laccase from Trametes versicolor, is a naturally derived enzyme used in the breakdown of phenolic compounds in a wide variety of industries, especially useful in breakdown of lignocellulosic materials. Here, a combination of experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations was used to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with laccase. Enzyme kinetics assays indicated that ionic liquids composed of tetramethylguanidine (TMG) and either serine or threonine caused significant reduction in enzymatic activity, while kinetics was not impacted by TMG-Asp or TMG-Glu ionic liquids. Similarly, intrinsic fluorescence of laccase in the presence of TMG-Ser and TMG-Thr exhibited a shift in spectral properties consistent with structural destabilization, but again TMG-Asp and TMG-Glu had no impact. MD simulations of laccase and ABTS with/without TMG-Ser ionic liquid provided insight into the deactivation mechanism of laccase. The simulations indicated that TMG-Ser disrupts laccase’s electron transfer mechanism.
  3. As we are on the cusp of the “post-antibiotic” era due to rapid spread of drug resistant bacteria, there is an urgent need for new antimicrobials that are not susceptible to bacterial resistance mechanisms. In this review, we will discuss the recent development of “polymer therapeutics” with antimicrobial activity. Learning from host-defence peptides, we propose the biomimetic design of synthetic polymers to target bacterial cell membranes, which act by compromising the membrane integrity. The discussion is extended to the future challenges and opportunities of antimicrobial polymers for clinical applications.
  4. Abstract

    Biomimetic antimicrobial polymers have been an area of great interest as the need for novel antimicrobial compounds grows due to the development of resistance. These polymers were designed and developed to mimic naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides in both physicochemical composition and mechanism of action. These antimicrobial peptide mimetic polymers have been extensively investigated using chemical, biophysical, microbiological, and computational approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular interactions that drive function. These studies have helped inform SARs, mechanism of action, and general physicochemical factors that influence the activity and properties of antimicrobial polymers. However, there are still lingering questions in this field regarding 3D structural patterning, bioavailability, and applicability to alternative targets. In this review, we present a perspective on the development and characterization of several antimicrobial polymers and discuss novel applications of these molecules emerging in the field.

    This article is categorized under:

    Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies

    Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Infectious Disease

  5. In the past decade, innovative protein therapies and bio-similar industries have grown rapidly. Additionally, ionic liquids (ILs) have been an area of great interest and rapid development in industrial processes over a similar timeline. Therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the structure and function of proteins in novel environments with ILs. Understanding the short-term and long-term stability of protein molecules in IL formulations will be key to using ILs for protein technologies. Similarly, ILs have been investigated as part of therapeutic delivery systems and implicated in numerous studies in which ILs impact the activity and/or stability of protein molecules. Notably, many of the proteins used in industrial applications are involved in redox chemistry, and thus often contain metal ions or metal-associated cofactors. In this review article, we focus on the current understanding of protein structure-function relationship in the presence of ILs, specifically focusing on the effect of ILs on metal containing proteins.