The promise of proteomics to provide a vast library of protein structural data is exciting to scientists desiring an unprecedented understanding of the relationship between protein structure and function. This powerful knowledge will provide insight into the design rules for proteomimetics which are oligomers and polymers that can be more stable and inexpensive to produce than natural proteins, but still emulate the main biological function of the natural molecule. This Emerging Area article is intended to stimulate discussion on innovative strategies to design the next generation of proteomimetics. Specifically we will examine the design evolution of facially amphiphilic aryl oligomers, compounds that act as synthetic mimics of antimicrobial peptides (SMAMPs) and are known to interact with lipid bilayers. An increasingly important goal in the field of antimicrobial polymers is to develop strategies to rationally design membrane-binding SMAMPs, that are highly cell-selective, from any preferred backbone and molecular weight. It is expected that lessons learned from studying these oligomers can be applied to other systems where mimics are desired to interact with extended surfaces and where it would be most productive to consider mimicking the protein of interest with a large molecule. Obvious examples include disrupting protein-protein interactions or binding long tracts of DNA to control gene expression.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/gregory_tew/8/