Metal poisoning currently poses a major challenge for medicinal chemistry. Although chelation therapy is the most efficient way to handle metal toxicity, the approved chelating agents still suffer from many drawbacks: The small molecule chelators do not distinguish between essential and toxic metal ions. As a result, most of these compounds are highly toxic and many segments of the population are prohibited from treatment with them.
Peptides and short proteins serve as common scaffolds for metal detoxification in many organisms. As peptides are biocompatible, flexible and contain a variety of potential functionalities, developing a new peptidic-based drug for this purpose may be highly advantageous. We aim to design non-toxic peptides for selective metal detoxification.