Phosphatidic acid-phosphatidylethanolamine interaction and apocytochrome c translocation across model membranes.
ABSTRACT: The translocation of apocytochrome c (apocyt.c) across large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) constructed from mixtures of anionic and zwitterionic phospholipids, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC), has been studied. It was shown that the import ratio of horse heart apocyt.c in LUVs composed of phosphatidic acid (PA) combined with PE and PC (62+/-10%) was much higher than that in LUVs made of PE and PC plus any other acidic phospholipid species (20+/-5%). This feature was shared by tuna heart and chicken heart apocyt.c. In addition, the greater efficiency of the PA/PE/PC system versus others in facilitating apocyt.c translocation was maintained using synthetic anionic phospholipids with the same acyl chains. Besides, apocyt.c induces more leakage of entrapped fluorescein sulphonate (FS) from the interior of PA/PC/PE vesicles compared with phosphatidylglycerol (PG)/PC/PE ones. By measuring the intrinsic fluorescence emission spectrum and the accessibility of the preprotein to the fluorescence quencher, acrylamide, differences could be detected in the conformational changes of apocyt.c as a consequence of its interaction with PA/PE/PC and PG/PE/PC vesicles, respectively. Particularly notable is that PE is indispensable for the PA/PE/PC system to most efficiently facilitate apocyt.c translocation across the model membranes. With the fraction of PE increasing from 0 to 30 mol%, the translocation efficiency of apocyt.c as well as its ability to induce FS efflux was significantly enhanced in PA-containing LUVs, whereas this was not observed in the case of replacement of PA by PG or phosphatidylserine. It is also interesting to note that in LUVs containing PA, dioleoyl-PE, but not dielaidoyl-PE, can exert such influences, indicative of the role of non-bilayer formation propensity. On the basis of these results it is postulated that PA might increase the bilayer-destabilizing effects of PE, and hence increase the translocation efficiency of apocyt.c and its leakage-induction ability.
Project description:Binding of phospholipase C delta 1 (PLC delta) to phospholipid vesicles was studied using large, unilamellar phospholipid vesicles (LUVs). PLC delta bound weakly to vesicles composed of phosphatidylserine (PS) or phosphatidylcholine (PC) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) + PC, and even more weakly to vesicles composed of phosphatidylinositol. The enzyme bound strongly to LUVs composed of PE + PC and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) or sphingomyelin (SM). Binding of 50% of PLC delta occurred at 0.25 nmol/ml PIP2 when LUVs composed of PE + PC (molar ratio of 80:20), plus various amounts of PIP2, were used at a constant phospholipid concentration of 300 nmol/ml. When LUVs composed of PE + PC + PIP2 (molar ratio of 79:20:1) were tested as a function of increasing phospholipid concentration, 50% binding of PLC delta occurred at 1.2 nmol/ml PIP2 and 120 nmol/ml total phospholipid. Similar measurements were conducted with other phospholipids and PIP2 at a molar ratio of 99:1. These showed that 50% binding of PLC delta occurred at a level of 0.9 nmol/ml PIP2 with 80 nmol/ml PC; at 2.2 nmol/ml PIP2 with 170 nmol/ml PS; at 4.2 nmol/ml PIP2 with 320 nmol/ml PI; and at 0.26 nmol/ml PIP2 with 20 nmol/ml total liver phospholipids. Binding to phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate was much weaker. When LUVs composed of PE + PC + SM (molar ratio 48:12:40) were tested as a function of increasing phospholipid concentration, 50% binding of PLC delta occurred at a level of 96 nmol/ml SM. This is well below the concentration of SM that can be calculated to face the cytosol. Binding of PLC delta to LUVs decreased as the temperature was lowered from 37 degrees C to 0 degree C. Thus PLC delta shows a high degree of specificity for binding to PIP2 and SM. Under physiological conditions a considerable fraction of PLC delta may be bound to cellular membranes, either in an inactive form if bound to PIP2 at low resting Ca2+ concentrations, or in the inhibited form if bound to SM.
Project description:Cyclic lipopeptides act against a variety of plant pathogens and are thus highly efficient crop-protection agents. Some pesticides contain Bacillus subtilis strains that produce lipopeptide families, such as surfactins (SF), iturins (IT), and fengycins (FE). The antimicrobial activity of these peptides is mainly mediated by permeabilizing cellular membranes. We used a fluorescence-lifetime based leakage assay to examine the effect of individual lipid components in model membranes on lipopeptide activity. Leakage induction by FE was strongly inhibited by cholesterol (CHOL) as well as by phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and -glycerol (PG) lipids. Already moderate amounts of CHOL increased the tolerable FE content in membranes by an order of magnitude to 0.5 FE per PC + CHOL. This indicates reduced FE-lipid demixing and aggregation, which is known to be required for membrane permeabilization and explains the strong inhibition by CHOL. Ergosterol (ERG) had a weak antagonistic effect. This confirms results of microbiological tests and agrees with the fungicidal activity and selectivity of FE. SF is known to be much less selective in its antimicrobial action. In line with this, liposome leakage by SF was little affected by sterols and PE. Interestingly, PG increased SF activity and changed its leakage mechanism toward all-or-none, suggesting more specific, larger, and/or longer-lived defect structures. This may be because of the reduced energetic cost of locally accumulating anionic SF in an anionic lipid matrix. IT was found largely inactive in our assays. B. subtilis QST713 produces the lipopeptides in a ratio of 6 mol SF: 37 mol FE: 57 mol IT. Leakage induced by this native mixture was inhibited by CHOL and PE, but unaffected by ERG and by PG in the absence of PE. Note that fungi contain anionic lipids, but little PE. Hence, our data explain the strong, fungicidal activity and selectivity of B. subtilis QST713 lipopeptides.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been an area of great interest, due to the high selectivity of these molecules toward bacterial targets over host cells and the limited development of bacterial resistance to these molecules throughout evolution. Previous work showed that when Histidine was incorporated into the peptide C18G it lost antimicrobial activity. The role of pH on activity and biophysical properties of the peptide was investigated to explain this phenomenon. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) results demonstrated that decreased media pH increased antimicrobial activity. Trichloroethanol (TCE) quenching and red-edge excitation spectroscopy (REES) showed a clear pH dependence on peptide aggregation in solution. Trp fluorescence was used to monitor binding to lipid vesicles and demonstrated the peptide binds to anionic bilayers at all pH values tested, however, binding to zwitterionic bilayers was enhanced at pH?7 and 8 (above the His pKa). Dual Quencher Analysis (DQA) confirmed the peptide inserted more deeply in PC:PG and PE:PG membranes, but could insert into PC bilayers at pH conditions above the His pKa. Bacterial membrane permeabilization assays which showed enhanced membrane permeabilization at pH?5 and 6 but vesicle leakage assays indicate enhanced permeabilization of PC and PC:PG bilayers at neutral pH. The results indicate the ionization of the His side chain affects the aggregation state of the peptide in solution and the conformation the peptide adopts when bound to bilayers, but there are likely more subtle influences of lipid composition and properties that impact the ability of the peptide to form pores in membranes.
Project description:Human beta defensin-3 (H?D-3) is a host-defense protein exhibiting antibacterial activity towards both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. There is considerable interest in the function of this protein due to its increased salt tolerance and activity against Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus. In this study, analogs of H?D-3 devoid of N and C terminal regions are investigated to determine the influence of specific structural motif on antimicrobial activity and selectivity between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Circular dichroism, fluorescence and solid-state NMR experiments have been used to investigate the conformation and mode of action of H?D3 analogs with various model membranes to mimic bacterial inner and outer membranes and also mammalian membranes. Our studies specifically focused on determining four major characteristics: (i) interaction of H?D3 analogs with phospholipid vesicles composed of zwitterionic PC or anionic PE:PG vesicles and LPS; (ii) conformation of H?D3-peptide analogs in the presence of PC or PE:PG vesicles; (iii) ability of H?D3 analogs to permeate phospholipid vesicles composed of PC or PE:PG; and (iv) activities on bacteria cells and erythrocytes. Our results infer that the linear peptide L25P and its cyclic form C25P are more active than L21P and C21P analogs. However, they are less active than the parent peptide, thus pointing towards the importance of the N terminal domain in its biological activity. The variation in the activities of L21P/C21P and L25P/C25P also suggest the importance of the positively charged residues at the C terminus in providing selectivity particularly to Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:The anti-tumour protein alpha-sarcin causes fusion of bilayers of phospholipid vesicles at neutral pH. This is demonstrated by measuring the decrease in the efficiency of the fluorescence energy transfer between N-(7-nitro-2-1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)-dimyristoylphosphatidylethano lamine (NDB-PE) (donor) and N-(lissamine rhodamine B sulphonyl)-diacylphosphatidylethanolamine (Rh-PE) (acceptor) incorporated in dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPG) vesicles. The effect of alpha-sarcin is a maximum at 0.15 M ionic strength and is abolished at basic pH. alpha-Sarcin promotes fusion between 1,6-diphenylhexa-1,3,5-triene (DPH)-labelled DMPG and dipalmitoyl-PG (DPPG) vesicles, resulting in a single thermotropic transition for the population of fused phospholipid vesicles. Bilayers composed of DMPC and DMPG, at different molar ratios in the range 1:1 to 1:10 PC/PG, are also fused by alpha-sarcin. Freeze-fracture electron micrographs corroborate the occurrence of fusion induced by the protein. alpha-Sarcin also modifies the permeability of the bilayers, causing the leakage of calcein in dye-trapped PG vesicles. All of the observed effects reach saturation at a 50:1 phospholipid/protein molar ratio, which is coincident with the binding stoichiometry previously described.
Project description:Due to the growing concern about antibiotic-resistant microbial infections, increasing support has been given to new drug discovery programs. A promising alternative to counter bacterial infections includes the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which have emerged as model molecules for rational design strategies. Here we focused on the study of Pa-MAP 1.9, a rationally designed AMP derived from the polar fish Pleuronectes americanus. Pa-MAP 1.9 was active against Gram-negative planktonic bacteria and biofilms, without being cytotoxic to mammalian cells. By using AFM, leakage assays, CD spectroscopy and in silico tools, we found that Pa-MAP 1.9 may be acting both on intracellular targets and on the bacterial surface, also being more efficient at interacting with anionic LUVs mimicking Gram-negative bacterial surface, where this peptide adopts α-helical conformations, than cholesterol-enriched LUVs mimicking mammalian cells. Thus, as bacteria present varied physiological features that favor antibiotic-resistance, Pa-MAP 1.9 could be a promising candidate in the development of tools against infections caused by pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:Most linear peptides directly interact with membranes, but the mechanisms of interaction are far from being completely understood. Here, we present an investigation of the membrane interactions of a designed peptide containing a non-natural, synthetic amino acid. We selected a nonapeptide that is reported to interact with phospholipid membranes, ALYLAIRKR, abbreviated as ALY. We designed a modified peptide (azoALY) by substituting the tyrosine residue of ALY with an antimicrobial azobenzene-bearing amino acid. Both of the peptides were examined for their ability to interact with model membranes, assessing the penetration of phospholipid monolayers, and leakage across the bilayer of large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) and giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). The latter was performed in a microfluidic device in order to study the kinetics of leakage of entrapped calcein from the vesicles at the single vesicle level. Both types of vesicles were prepared from a 9:1 (mol/mol) mixture of POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) and POPG (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho(1'-rac-glycerol). Calcein leakage from the vesicles was more pronounced at a low concentration in the case of azoALY than for ALY. Increased vesicle membrane disturbance in the presence of azoALY was also evident from an enzymatic assay with LUVs and entrapped horseradish peroxidase. Molecular dynamics simulations of ALY and azoALY in an anionic POPC/POPG model bilayer showed that ALY peptide only interacts with the lipid head groups. In contrast, azoALY penetrates the hydrophobic core of the bilayers causing a stronger membrane perturbation as compared to ALY, in qualitative agreement with the experimental results from the leakage assays.
Project description:Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been used to unmask details of specific interactions of anionic phospholipids with intersubunit binding sites on the surface of the bacterial potassium channel KcsA. Crystallographic data on a diacyl glycerol fragment at this site were used to model phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), or phosphatidylglycerol (PG), or phosphatidic acid (PA) at the intersubunit binding sites. Each of these models of a KcsA-lipid complex was embedded in phosphatidyl choline bilayer and explored in a 20 ns MD simulation. H-bond analysis revealed that in terms of lipid-protein interactions PA > PG >> PE and revealed how anionic lipids (PG and PA) bind to a site provided by two key arginine residues (R(64) and R(89)) at the interface between adjacent subunits. A 27 ns simulation was performed in which KcsA (without any lipids initially modeled at the R(64)/R(89) sites) was embedded in a PE/PG bilayer. There was a progressive specific increase over the course of the simulation in the number of H-bonds of PG with KcsA. Furthermore, two specific PG binding events at R(64)/R(89) sites were observed. The phosphate oxygen atoms of bound PG formed H-bonds to the guanidinium group of R(89), whereas the terminal glycerol H-bonded to R(64). Overall, this study suggests that simulations can help identify and characterize sites for specific lipid interactions on a membrane protein surface.
Project description:Pardaxin is a 33-amino-acid neurotoxin from the Red Sea Moses sole Pardachirus marmoratus, whose mode of action shows remarkable sensitivity to lipid chain length and charge, although the effect of pH is unclear. Here we combine optical spectroscopy and dye release experiments with laser scanning confocal microscopy and natural abundance (13)C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance to provide a more complete picture of how pardaxin interacts with lipids. The kinetics and efficiency of release of entrapped calcein is highly sensitive to pH. In vesicles containing zwitterionic lipids (PC), release occurs most rapidly at low pH, whereas in vesicles containing 20% anionic lipid (PG), release occurs most rapidly at high pH. Pardaxin forms stable or transient pores in PC vesicles that allow release of contents without loss of vesicle integrity, whereas the inclusion of PG promotes total vesicle collapse. In agreement with this, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance reveals that pardaxin takes up a trans-membrane orientation in 14-O-PC/6-O-PC bicelles, whereas the inclusion of 14-0-PG restricts it to contacts with lipid headgroups, promoting membrane lysis. Pore formation in zwitterionic vesicles is more efficient than lysis of anionic vesicles, suggesting that electrostatic interactions may trap pardaxin in several suboptimal interconverting conformations on the membrane surface.
Project description:The fusion of proteoliposomes is a promising approach for incorporating membrane proteins in artificial lipid membranes. In this study, we employed an electrostatic interaction between vesicles and supported bilayer lipid membranes (s-BLMs) to control the fusion process. We combined large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) containing anionic lipids, which we used instead of proteoliposomes, and s-BLMs containing cationic lipids to control electrostatic interaction. Anionic LUVs were never adsorbed or ruptured on the SiO2 substrate with a slight negative charge, and selectively fused with cationic s-BLMs. The LUVs can be fused effectively to the target position. Furthermore, as the vesicle fusion proceeds and some of the positive charges are neutralized, the attractive interaction weakens and finally the vesicle fusion saturates. In other words, we can control the number of LUVs fused with s-BLMs by controlling the concentration of the cationic lipids in the s-BLMs. The fluidity of the s-BLMs after vesicle fusion was confirmed to be sufficiently high. This indicates that the LUVs attached to the s-BLMs were almost completely fused, and there were few intermediate state vesicles in the fusion process. We could control the position and amount of vesicle fusion with the s-BLMs by employing an electrostatic interaction.