Amphipathic antimicrobial piscidin in magnetically aligned lipid bilayers.
ABSTRACT: The amphipathic antimicrobial peptide piscidin 1 was studied in magnetically aligned phospholipid bilayers by oriented-sample solid-state NMR spectroscopy. (31)P NMR and double-resonance (1)H/(15)N NMR experiments performed between 25 °C and 61 °C enabled the lipid headgroups as well as the peptide amide sites to be monitored over a range of temperatures. The ?-helical peptide dramatically affects the phase behavior and structure of anionic bilayers but not those of zwitterionic bilayers. Piscidin 1 stabilizes anionic bilayers, which remain well aligned up to 61 °C when piscidin 1 is on the membrane surface. Two-dimensional separated-local-field experiments show that the tilt angle of the peptide is 80 ± 5°, in agreement with previous results on mechanically aligned bilayers. The peptide undergoes fast rotational diffusion about the bilayer normal under these conditions, and these studies demonstrate that magnetically aligned bilayers are well suited for structural studies of amphipathic peptides.
Project description:Piscidins constitute a family of cationic antimicrobial peptides that are thought to play an important role in the innate immune response of teleosts. On the one hand they show a remarkable diversity, which indicates that they are shaped by positive selection, but on the other hand they are ancient and have specific targets, suggesting that they are constrained by purifying selection. Until now piscidins had only been found in fish species from the superorder Acanthopterygii but we have recently identified a piscidin gene in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), thus showing that these antimicrobial peptides are not restricted to evolutionarily modern teleosts. Nucleotide diversity was much higher in the regions of the piscidin gene that code for the mature peptide and its pro domain than in the signal peptide. Maximum likelihood analyses with different evolution models revealed that the piscidin gene is under positive selection. Charge or hydrophobicity-changing amino acid substitutions observed in positively selected sites within the mature peptide influence its amphipathic structure and can have a marked effect on its function. This diversification might be associated with adaptation to new habitats or rapidly evolving pathogens.
Project description:High-resolution two-dimensional (2D) (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear correlation (HETCOR) spectroscopy has been used to characterize the structure and dynamics of (15)N-backbone labeled antimicrobial piscidin 1 (p1) oriented in "native-like" hydrated lipid bilayers. Piscidin belongs to a family of amphipatic cationic antimicrobial peptides, which are membrane-active and have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity on bacteria. When the (1)H chemical shifts are encoded by the (1)H-(15)N dipolar couplings, 2D dipolar-encoded HETCOR (i.e., de-HETCOR) solid-state NMR spectra yield high resolution (1)H and (15)N chemical shifts as well as (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear dipolar couplings. Several advantages of HETCOR and de-HETCOR techniques that emerge from our investigations could facilitate the atomic-level investigations of structure-function relationships in membrane-active peptides and membrane-bound species. First, the de-HETCOR NMR spectrum of a ten-site (15)N-labeled sample of p1 aligned in hydrated lipid bilayers can resolve resonances that are overlapped in the standard HETCOR spectrum. Second, the resolution in de-HETCOR spectra of p1 improves significantly at higher magnetic field due to an enhanced alignment that improves spectrum definition uniformly. Third, the HETCOR spectrum of (15)N-K(14) p1 oriented in hydrated lipid bilayers displays not only the expected crosscorrelation between the chemical shifts of bonded amide(1)H and (15)N spins but also a cross peak between the (1)H chemical shift from bulk water and the (15)N chemical shift from the labeled amide nitrogen. This information provides new insights into the intermolecular interactions of an amphipathic antimicrobial peptide optimized to partition at the water-bilayer interface and may have implications at the biological level.
Project description:Cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are essential components of the innate immune system. They have attracted interest as novel compounds with the potential to treat infections associated with multi-drug resistant bacteria. In this study, we investigate piscidin 3 (P3), an AMP that was first discovered in the mast cells of hybrid striped bass. Prior studies showed that P3 is less active than its homolog piscidin 1 (P1) against planktonic bacteria. However, P3 has the advantage of being less toxic to mammalian cells and more active on biofilms and persister cells. Both P1 and P3 cross bacterial membranes and co-localize with intracellular DNA but P3 is more condensing to DNA while P1 is more membrane active. Recently, we showed that both peptides coordinate Cu2+ through an amino-terminal copper and nickel (ATCUN) motif. We also demonstrated that the bactericidal effects of P3 are linked to its ability to form radicals that nick DNA in the presence of Cu2+ . Since metal binding and membrane crossing by P3 is biologically important, we apply in this study solid-state NMR spectroscopy to uniformly 13 C-15 N-labeled peptide samples to structurally characterize the ATCUN motif of P3 bound to bilayers and coordinated to Ni2+ and Cu2+ . These experiments are supplemented with density functional theory calculations. Taken together, these studies refine the arrangement of not only the backbone but also side chain atoms of an AMP simultaneously bound to metal ions and phospholipid bilayers.
Project description:The three-dimensional structure of the membrane-bound form of the major coat protein of Pf1 bacteriophage was determined in phospholipid bilayers using orientation restraints derived from both solid-state and solution NMR experiments. In contrast to previous structures determined solely in detergent micelles, the structure in bilayers contains information about the spatial arrangement of the protein within the membrane, and thus provides insights to the bacteriophage assembly process from membrane-inserted to bacteriophage-associated protein. Comparisons between the membrane-bound form of the coat protein and the previously determined structural form found in filamentous bacteriophage particles demonstrate that it undergoes a significant structural rearrangement during the membrane-mediated virus assembly process. The rotation of the transmembrane helix (Q16-A46) around its long axis changes dramatically (by 160 degrees) to obtain the proper alignment for packing in the virus particles. Furthermore, the N-terminal amphipathic helix (V2-G17) tilts away from the membrane surface and becomes parallel with the transmembrane helix to form one nearly continuous long helix. The spectra obtained in glass-aligned planar lipid bilayers, magnetically aligned lipid bilayers (bicelles), and isotropic lipid bicelles reflect the effects of backbone motions and enable the backbone dynamics of the N-terminal helix to be characterized. Only resonances from the mobile N-terminal helix and the C-terminus (A46) are observed in the solution NMR spectra of the protein in isotropic q > 1 bicelles, whereas only resonances from the immobile transmembrane helix are observed in the solid-state (1)H/(15)N-separated local field spectra in magnetically aligned bicelles. The N-terminal helix and the hinge that connects it to the transmembrane helix are significantly more dynamic than the rest of the protein, thus facilitating structural rearrangement during bacteriophage assembly.
Project description:The initial steps of membrane disruption by antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) involve binding to bacterial membranes in a surface-bound (S) orientation. To evaluate the effects of lipid composition on the S state, molecular dynamics simulations of the AMPs piscidin 1 (p1) and piscidin 3 (p3) were carried out in four different bilayers: 3:1 DMPC/DMPG, 3:1 POPC/POPG, 1:1 POPE/POPG, and 4:1 POPC/cholesterol. In all cases, the addition of 1:40 piscidin caused thinning of the bilayer, though thinning was least for DMPC/DMPG. The peptides also insert most deeply into DMPC/DMPG, spanning the region from the bilayer midplane to the headgroups, and thereby only mildly disrupting the acyl chains. In contrast, the peptides insert less deeply in the palmitoyl-oleoyl containing membranes, do not reach the midplane, and substantially disrupt the chains, i.e., the neighboring acyl chains bend under the peptide, forming a basket-like conformation. Curvature free energy derivatives calculated from the simulation pressure profiles reveal that the peptides generate positive curvature in membranes with palmitoyl and oleoyl chains but negative curvature in those with myristoyl chains. Curvature inductions predicted with a continuum elastic model follow the same trends, though the effect is weaker, and a small negative curvature induction is obtained in POPC/POPG. These results do not directly speak to the relative stability of the inserted (I) states or ease of pore formation, which requires the free energy pathway between the S and I states. Nevertheless, they do highlight the importance of lipid composition and acyl chain packing.
Project description:While antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been widely investigated as potential therapeutics, high-resolution structures obtained under biologically relevant conditions are lacking. Here, the high-resolution structures of the homologous 22-residue long AMPs piscidin 1 (p1) and piscidin 3 (p3) are determined in fluid-phase 3:1 phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylglycerol (PC/PG) and 1:1 phosphatidylethanolamine/phosphatidylglycerol (PE/PG) bilayers to identify molecular features important for membrane destabilization in bacterial cell membrane mimics. Structural refinement of (1)H-(15)N dipolar couplings and (15)N chemical shifts measured by oriented sample solid-state NMR and all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provide structural and orientational information of high precision and accuracy about these interfacially bound ?-helical peptides. The tilt of the helical axis, ?, is between 83° and 93° with respect to the bilayer normal for all systems and analysis methods. The average azimuthal rotation, ?, is 235°, which results in burial of hydrophobic residues in the bilayer. The refined NMR and MD structures reveal a slight kink at G13 that delineates two helical segments characterized by a small difference in their ? angles (<10°) and significant difference in their ? angles (~25°). Remarkably, the kink, at the end of a G(X)4G motif highly conserved among members of the piscidin family, allows p1 and p3 to adopt ? angles that maximize their hydrophobic moments. Two structural features differentiate the more potent p1 from p3: p1 has a larger ? angle and less N-terminal fraying. The peptides have comparable depths of insertion in PC/PG, but p3 is 1.2 Å more deeply inserted than p1 in PE/PG. In contrast to the ideal ?-helical structures typically assumed in mechanistic models of AMPs, p1 and p3 adopt disrupted ?-helical backbones that correct for differences in the amphipathicity of their N- and C-ends, and their centers of mass lie ~1.2-3.6 Å below the plane defined by the C2 atoms of the lipid acyl chains.
Project description:Interleukin-8alpha (IL-8alpha) is an antimicrobial peptide derived from the chemokine IL-8. Solution NMR was used to determine the atomic-resolution structure of IL-8alpha in SDS micelles. Solid-state NMR and tryptophan fluorescence were used to probe the interaction of IL-8alpha with model membranes. The peptide interacted differently with anionic versus purely zwitterionic micelles or bilayers. Tryptophan fluorescence demonstrated a deeper position of Trp4 in SDS micelles and POPC/POPG bilayers compared to pure POPC bilayers, consistent with (2)H order parameters, which also indicated a deeper position of the peptide in POPC/POPG bilayers compared to POPC bilayers. Paramagnetic probe data showed that IL-8alpha was situated roughly parallel to the SDS micelle surface, with a slight tilt that positioned the N-terminus more deeply in the micelle compared to the C-terminus. (15)N solid-state NMR spectra indicated a similar, nearly parallel position for the peptide in POPC/POPG bilayers. (31)P and (2)H solid-state NMR demonstrated that the peptide did not induce the formation of any nonlamellar phases and did not significantly disrupt bilayer orientation in aligned model membranes composed of POPC or POPC and POPG.
Project description:A wide variety of membrane proteins induce membrane curvature for function; thus, it is important to develop new methods to simultaneously determine membrane curvature and protein binding sites in membranes with multiple curvatures. We introduce solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods based on magnetically oriented bicelles and off-magic-angle spinning (OMAS) to measure membrane curvature and the binding site of proteins in mixed-curvature membranes. We demonstrate these methods on the influenza virus M2 protein, which not only acts as a proton channel but also mediates virus assembly and membrane scission. An M2 peptide encompassing the transmembrane (TM) domain and an amphipathic helix, M2(21-61), was studied and compared with the TM peptide (M2TM). Static (31)P NMR spectra of magnetically oriented 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC)/1,2-dihexanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DHPC) bicelles exhibit a temperature-independent isotropic chemical shift in the presence of M2(21-61) but not M2TM, indicating that the amphipathic helix confers the ability to generate a high-curvature phase. Two-dimensional (2D) (31)P spectra indicate that this high-curvature phase is associated with the DHPC bicelle edges, suggestive of the structure of budding viruses from the host cell. (31)P- and (13)C-detected (1)H relaxation times of the lipids indicate that the majority of M2(21-61) is bound to the high-curvature phase. Using OMAS experiments, we resolved the (31)P signals of lipids with identical headgroups based on their distinct chemical shift anisotropies. On the basis of this resolution, 2D (1)H-(31)P correlation spectra show that the amide protons in M2(21-61) correlate with the DMPC but not DHPC (31)P signal of the bicelle, indicating that a small percentage of M2(21-61) partitions into the planar region of the bicelles. These results show that the amphipathic helix induces high membrane curvature and localizes the protein to this phase, in good agreement with the membrane scission function of the protein. These bicelle-based relaxation and OMAS solid-state NMR techniques are generally applicable to curvature-inducing membrane proteins such as those involved in membrane trafficking, membrane fusion, and cell division.
Project description:Solid-state NMR spectra with single-site resolution of CXCR1, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), were obtained in magnetically aligned phospholipid bicelles. These results demonstrate that GPCRs in phospholipid bilayers are suitable samples for structure determination by solid-state NMR. The spectra also enable studies of drug-receptor interactions.
Project description:Host-defense peptides (HDPs) feature evolution-tested potency against life-threatening pathogens. While piscidin 1 (p1) and piscidin 3 (p3) are homologous and potent fish HDPs, only p1 is strongly membranolytic. Here, we hypothesize that another mechanism imparts p3 strong potency. We demonstrate that the N-termini of both peptides coordinate Cu2+ and p3-Cu cleaves isolated DNA at a rate on par with free Cu2+ but significantly faster than p1-Cu. On planktonic bacteria, p1 is more antimicrobial but only p3 features copper-dependent DNA cleavage. On biofilms and persister cells, p3-Cu is more active than p1-Cu, commensurate with stronger peptide-induced DNA damage. Molecular dynamics and NMR show that more DNA-peptide interactions exist with p3 than p1, and the peptides adopt conformations simultaneously poised for metal- and DNA-binding. These results generate several important conclusions. First, homologous HDPs cannot be assumed to have identical mechanisms since p1 and p3 eradicate bacteria through distinct relative contributions of membrane and DNA-disruptive effects. Second, the nuclease and membrane activities of p1 and p3 show that naturally occurring HDPs can inflict not only physicochemical but also covalent damage. Third, strong nuclease activity is essential for biofilm and persister cell eradication, as shown by p3, the homolog more specific toward bacteria and more expressed in vascularized tissues. Fourth, p3 combines several physicochemical properties (e.g., Amino Terminal Copper and Nickel binding motif; numerous arginines; moderate hydrophobicity) that confer low membranolytic effects, robust copper-scavenging capability, strong interactions with DNA, and fast nuclease activity. This new knowledge could help design novel therapeutics active against hard-to-treat persister cells and biofilms.