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International Journal of Peptides
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 585027, 11 pages
Research Article

Characterization of Selective Antibacterial Peptides by Polarity Index

1Centro de Investigaciones Químicas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Avenida Universidad 1001, 62209 Cuernavaca, MOR, Mexico
2Subdireccion de Epidemiologia Hospitalaria y Control de Calidad de la Atencion Medica, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion Salvador Zubiran, Vasco de Quiroga 15, Piso 4, Colonia Seccion XVI, 14000 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
3Departamento de Matematicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
4Direccion General de Divulgacion de la Ciencia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad Universitaria, P.O. Box 70487, 04510 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
5Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, P.O. Box 70543, 04510 Mexico City, DF, Mexico

Received 16 December 2011; Revised 18 January 2012; Accepted 19 January 2012

Academic Editor: Jean-Marie Zajac

Copyright © 2012 C. Polanco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the recent decades, antibacterial peptides have occupied a strategic position for pharmaceutical drug applications and became subject of intense research activities since they are used to strengthen the immune system of all living organisms by protecting them from pathogenic bacteria. This work proposes a simple and easy statistical/computational method through a peptide polarity index measure by which an antibacterial peptide subgroup can be efficiently identified, that is, characterized by a high toxicity to bacterial membranes but presents a low toxicity to mammal cells. These peptides also have the feature not to adopt to an alpha-helicoidal structure in aqueous solution. The double-blind test carried out to the whole Antimicrobial Peptide Database (November 2011) showed an accuracy of 90% applying the polarity index method for the identification of such antibacterial peptide groups.