Multimodal role of amino acids in microbial control and drug development

Muhammad Idrees, Afzal R. Mohammad, Nazira Karodia, Ayesha Rahman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Amino acids are ubiquitous vital biomolecules found in all kinds of living organisms including those in the microbial world. They are utilised as nutrients and control many biological functions in microorganisms such as cell division, cell wall formation, cell growth and metabolism, intermicrobial communication (quorum sensing), and microbial‐host interactions. Amino acids in the form of enzymes also play a key role in enabling microbes to resist antimicrobial drugs. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and microbial biofilms are posing a great threat to the world’s human and animal population and are of prime concern to scientists and medical professionals. Although amino acids play an important role in the development of microbial resistance, they also offer a solution to the very same problem i.e., amino acids have been used to develop antimicrobial peptides as they are highly effective and less prone to microbial resistance. Other important applications of amino acids include their role as anti‐biofilm agents, drug excipients, drug solubility enhancers, and drug adjuvants. This review aims to explore the emerging paradigm of amino acids as potential therapeutic moieties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number330
Number of pages23
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

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


  • Adjuvants
  • Amino acids
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Excipients
  • Microbial biofilm
  • Quorum sensing
  • Solubility


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