What are Cyclotides?
Uses of Cyclotides
About Us
Discovery of Cyclotides
Biological Activity
Topological Features
Cyclotide Genes
Cystine Knots
Other Circular Proteins
Cybase: The Cyclotide Database
Commercial Opportunities
Contact Us

Browse the cyclotide inspired art in the Gallery

The cyclotides are potent insecticides inhibiting the growth of insect larvae

This site is dedicated to the study of a fascinating new class of plant proteins called the Cyclotides. These recently characterised molecules found in plants of the Rubiaceae and Violaceae families are small disulfide-rich proteins that have the unusual feature of a cyclic backbone (hence the name - cyclic peptides). Apart from the cyclised backbone the cyclotides also possess another unusual feature called a cystine knot. This protein motif consists of three conserved disulfide bonds two of which, along with their connecting backbone segments, form an embedded ring in the structure that is penetrated by the third disulfide bond. This combination of cyclised backbone and cystine knot topology makes the cyclotides a highly unusual and interesting class of protein.

Research in our lab is aimed at further characterising the cyclotides and adapting them for commercial and medicinal use. Specific goals include: determining the role that cyclotides play in plants, discovering the mechanism of action of the wide range of biological activities displayed by the cyclotides (including anti-HIV, anti-bacterial and insecticidal activity), characterising the genetics of the cyclotides and further discovery of novel cyclotides.

Cyclotides in the News

Cyclotides were recently the subject of the Swiss Prot Protein Spotlight series - read the PDF file.

The structure of the trypsin inhibitor cyclotides was recently published in JBC and featured on the cover.

Our review on circular proteins was recently featured on the cover of TiBS.

Site designed by Jason Mulvenna