Interactions of antimicrobial peptide from C-terminus of myotoxin II with phospholipid mono- and bilayers

Department of Chemistry, Carleton University, Ottawa ON Canada.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (Impact Factor: 4.66). 08/2009; 1788(10):2277-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2009.07.012
Source: PubMed


Comparative studies of the effect of a short synthetic cationic peptide, pEM-2 (KKWRWWLKALAKK), derived from the C-terminus of myotoxin II from the venom of the snake Bothrops asper on phospholipid mono- and bilayers were performed by means of Langmuir Blodgett (LB) monolayer technique, atomic force microscopy and calcein leakage assay. Phospholipid mono- and bilayers composed of single zwitterionic or anionic phospholipids as well as lipid mixtures mimicking bacterial cell membrane were used. LB measurements indicate that the peptide binds to both anionic and zwitterionic phospholipid monolayers at low surface pressure but only to anionic at high surface pressure. Preferential interaction of the peptide with anionic phospholipid monolayer is also supported by a more pronounced change of the monolayer pressure/area isotherms induced by the peptide. AFM imaging reveals the presence of nanoscale aggregates in lipid/peptide mixture monolayers. At the same time, calcein leakage experiment demonstrated that pEM-2 induces stronger disruption of zwitterionic than anionic bilayers. Results of the study indicate that electrostatic interactions play a significant role in the initial recognition and binding of pEM-2 to the cell membrane. However, membrane rupturing activity of the peptide depends on interactions other than simple ionic attraction.

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    • "The leakage fraction was calculated as: % leakage = [(F -F 0 ) 9 100%]/(F M -F 0 ). The concentration of lipid phosphorus was measured by phosphate assay (Won and Ianoul 2009). Vesicles with carboxyfluorescein (300 ll) were mixed with 1 ml HClO 4 and heated with a block heater for 1 h. "
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    ABSTRACT: Latarcins are linear, α-helical antimicrobial peptides purified from the venom of the Central Asian spider Lachesana tarabaevi, with lytic activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, erythrocytes, and yeast at micromolar concentrations. In this work, we investigated the role of the hinge in latarcin 2a (ltc2a, GLFGKLIKKFGRKAISYAVKKARGKH-COOH), which adopts a helix-hinge-helix conformation in membrane-mimicking environments, on peptide-membrane interactions and its potential effect on the selective toxicity of the peptide. A modified latarcin 2a, ltc2aG11A, obtained by replacing the glycine at position 11 with alanine (ltc2aG11A, GLFGKLIKKFARKAISYAVKKARGKH-COOH), adopts a more rigid structure due to the reduced conformational flexibility. Langmuir monolayer measurements combined with atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoemission electron microscopy (X-PEEM) indicate that both peptides bind and insert preferentially into anionic compared with zwitterionic phospholipid monolayers. Modified ltc2aG11A was found to be more disruptive of supported phospholipid bilayer modeling mammalian cell membrane. However, no considerable difference in lytic activity of the two peptides toward bacterial membrane was found. Overall the data indicate that decrease in the flexibility of ltc2a induced by the modification in the hinge region is likely to increase the peptide's nonspecific interactions with zwitterionic cell membranes and potentially increase its toxicity against eukaryotic cells.
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