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Machine learning for antimicrobial peptide identification and design

Nature Reviews Bioengineering Read the Article
ABSTRACT Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models are being deployed in many domains of society and have recently reached the field of drug discovery. Given the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistance, as well as the challenges intrinsic to antibiotic development, there is an urgent need to accelerate the design of new antimicrobial therapies. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are therapeutic agents for treating bacterial infections, but their translation into the clinic has been slow owing to toxicity, poor stability, limited cellular penetration and high cost, among other issues. Recent advances in AI and ML have led to breakthroughs in our abilities to predict biomolecular properties and structures and to generate new molecules. The ML-based modelling of peptides may overcome some of the disadvantages associated with traditional drug discovery and aid the rapid development and translation of AMPs. Here, we provide an introduction to this emerging field and survey ML approaches that can be used to address issues currently hindering AMP development. We also outline important limitations that can be addressed for the broader adoption of AMPs in clinical practice, as well as new opportunities in data-driven peptide design.

Contributors: Fangping Wan, Felix Wong, Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez
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