Controls and constrains of the membrane disrupting action of Aurein 1.2.
ABSTRACT: Aurein 1.2 is a 13 residue antimicrobial peptide secreted by the Australian tree frog Litoria Aurea. It is a surface-acting membrane disrupting peptide that permeabilizes bacterial membranes via the carpet mechanism; the molecular details of this process are mostly unknown. Here the mechanism of action of Aurein 1.2 was investigated with an emphasis on the role of membrane charge and C-terminal amidation of the peptide. Using quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) fingerprinting it was found that the membrane charge correlates with membrane affinity of the peptide, however the binding and the membrane disrupting processes are not charge driven; increased membrane charge reduces the membrane disrupting activity. Coarse grain simulations revealed that phenylalanine residues act as membrane anchors. Accordingly Aurein 1.2 has the ability to bind to any membrane. Furthermore, bundling precludes membrane disruption in case of wild type peptides, while non C-terminal amidated peptides form random aggregates leading to detachment from the membrane. Hence C-terminal amidation is crucial for Aurein 1.2 action. Our results suggest that Aurein 1.2 acts via aggregation driven membrane penetration. The concomitant change in the tension of the outer leaflet imposes a spontaneous curvature on the membrane, leading to disintegration.
Project description:Aurein 1.2 is a potent antimicrobial peptide secreted by frog Litoria aurea. As a short membrane-active peptide with only 13 amino acids in sequence, it has been found to be residing on the surface of lipid bilayer and permeabilizing bacterial membranes at high concentration. However, the detail at the molecular level is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the action of Aurein 1.2 in charged lipid bilayers composed of DMPC/DMPG. Oriented Circular Dichroism results showed that the peptide was on the surface of lipid bilayer regardless of the charged lipid ratio. Only at a very high peptide-to-lipid ratio (~1/10), the peptide became perpendicular to the bilayer, however no pore was detected by neutron in-plane scattering. To further understand how it interacted with charged lipid bilayers, we employed Small Angle Neutron Scattering to probe lipid distribution across bilayer leaflets in lipid vesicles. The results showed that Aurein 1.2 interacted strongly with negatively charged DMPG, causing strong asymmetry in lipid bilayer. At high concentration, while the vesicles were intact, we found additional structure feature on the bilayer. Our study provides a glimpse into how Aurein 1.2 disturbs anionic lipid-containing membranes without pore formation.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are attractive antifungal drug candidates because they kill microbes via membrane disruption and are thus unlikely to provoke development of resistance. Low selectivity for fungal vs human cells and instability in physiological environments have limited the development of AMPs as therapeutics, but peptidomimetic AMPs can overcome these obstacles and also provide useful insight into AMP structure-function relationships. Here, we describe antifungal peptidomimetic ?/?-peptides templated on the natural ?-peptidic AMP aurein 1.2. These ?/?-aurein analogs fold into i ? i + 4 H-bonded helices that present arrays of side chain functionality in a manner virtually identical to that of aurein 1.2. By varying charge, hydrophobicity, conformational stability, and ?/?-amino acid organization, we designed active and selective ?/?-peptide aurein analogs that exhibit minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) against the opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans that are 4-fold lower than that of aurein 1.2 and elicit less than 5% hemolysis at the MIC. These ?/?-aurein analogs are promising candidates for development as antifungal therapeutics and as tools to elucidate mechanisms of AMP activity and specificity.
Project description:Antibacterial peptides have potential as novel therapeutic agents for bacterial infections. Aurein 1.2 is one of the smallest antibacterial peptides extracted from an anuran. LLAA is a more active analogue of aurein 1.2. Antibacterial peptides usually accomplish their function by interacting with bacterial membrane selectively. In this study, we tried to find the reasons for the stronger antibacterial activity of LLAA compared with aurein 1.2. For this purpose, the interaction of aurein 1.2 and LLAA with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) was investigated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. In addition, the structure of peptides and their antibacterial activity were investigated by circular dichroism (CD) and dilution test method, respectively. MD results showed that LLAA is more flexible compared with aurein 1.2. Furthermore, LLAA loses its structure more than aurein 1.2 in the DPPC bilayer. A higher amount of water molecules penetrate into bilayer in the presence of LLAA relative to aurein 1.2. According to the antibacterial result that indicated LLAA is remarkably more active than aurein 1.2, it can be concluded that flexibility of the peptide is a determining factor in antibacterial activity. Probably, flexibility of the peptides facilitates formation of effective pores in the lipid bilayer.
Project description:The effects of hydrophobic thickness and the molar phosphatidylglycerol (PG) content of lipid bilayers on the structure and membrane interaction of three cationic antimicrobial peptides were examined: aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3 (almost identical to aurein 2.2, except for a point mutation at residue 13), and a carboxy C-terminal analog of aurein 2.3. Circular dichroism results indicated that all three peptides adopt an alpha-helical structure in the presence of a 3:1 molar mixture of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine/1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)] (DMPC/DMPG), and 1:1 and 3:1 molar mixtures of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)] (POPC/POPG). Oriented circular dichroism data for three different lipid compositions showed that all three peptides were surface-adsorbed at low peptide concentrations, but were inserted into the membrane at higher peptide concentrations. The (31)P solid-state NMR data of the three peptides in the DMPC/DMPG and POPC/POPG bilayers showed that all three peptides significantly perturbed lipid headgroups, in a peptide or lipid composition-dependent manner. Differential scanning calorimetry results demonstrated that both amidated aurein peptides perturbed the overall phase structure of DMPC/DMPG bilayers, but perturbed the POPC/POPG chains less. The nature of the perturbation of DMPC/DMPG bilayers was most likely micellization, and for the POPC/POPG bilayers, distorted toroidal pores or localized membrane aggregate formation. Calcein release assay results showed that aurein peptide-induced membrane leakage was more severe in DMPC/DMPG liposomes than in POPC/POPG liposomes, and that aurein 2.2 induced higher calcein release than aurein 2.3 and aurein 2.3-COOH from 1:1 and 3:1 POPC/POPG liposomes. Finally, DiSC(3)5 assay data further delineated aurein 2.2 from the others by showing that it perturbed the lipid membranes of intact S. aureus C622 most efficiently, whereas aurein 2.3 had the same efficiency as gramicidin S, and aurein 2.3-COOH was the least efficient. Taken together, these data show that the membrane interactions of aurein peptides are affected by the hydrophobic thickness of the lipid bilayers and the PG content.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are compounds widely distributed in nature that display activity against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Amphibian skin, as an organ rich in pharmacologically active peptides, appears to be an interesting source of novel AMPs. Aurein 1.2 (GLFDIIKKIAESF-NH2) is a short 13-residue antimicrobial peptide primarily isolated from the skin secretions of Australian bell frogs. In this study, the alanine scan of aurein 1.2 was performed to investigate the effect of each amino acid residue on its biological and physico-chemical properties. The biological studies included determination of minimum inhibitory concentration, activity against biofilm, and inhibitory effect on its formation. Moreover, the hemolytic activity as well as serum stability was determined. The hydrophobicity of peptides and their self-assembly were investigated using reversed-phase chromatography. In addition, their helicity was calculated from circular dichroism spectra. The results not only provided information on structure-activity relationship of aurein 1.2 but also gave insights into design of novel analogs of AMPs in the future.
Project description:Membrane lysis caused by antibiotic peptides is often rationalized by means of two different models: the so-called carpet model and the pore-forming model. We report here on the lytic activity of antibiotic peptides from Australian tree frogs, maculatin 1.1, citropin 1.1, and aurein 1.2, on POPC or POPC/POPG model membranes. Leakage experiments using fluorescence spectroscopy indicated that the peptide/lipid mol ratio necessary to induce 50% of probe leakage was smaller for maculatin compared with aurein or citropin, regardless of lipid membrane composition. To gain further insight into the lytic mechanism of these peptides we performed single vesicle experiments using confocal fluorescence microscopy. In these experiments, the time course of leakage for different molecular weight (water soluble) fluorescent markers incorporated inside of single giant unilamellar vesicles is observed after peptide exposure. We conclude that maculatin and its related peptides demonstrate a pore-forming mechanism (differential leakage of small fluorescent probe compared with high molecular weight markers). Conversely, citropin and aurein provoke a total membrane destabilization with vesicle burst without sequential probe leakage, an effect that can be assigned to a carpeting mechanism of lytic action. Additionally, to study the relevance of the proline residue on the membrane-action properties of maculatin, the same experimental approach was used for maculatin-Ala and maculatin-Gly (Pro-15 was replaced by Ala or Gly, respectively). Although a similar peptide/lipid mol ratio was necessary to induce 50% of leakage for POPC membranes, the lytic activity of maculatin-Ala and maculatin-Gly decreased in POPC/POPG (1:1 mol) membranes compared with that observed for the naturally occurring maculatin sequence. As observed for maculatin, the lytic action of Maculatin-Ala and maculatin-Gly is in keeping with the formation of pore-like structures at the membrane independently of lipid composition.
Project description:Frogs such as Rana temporaria and Litoria aurea secrete numerous closely related antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as an effective chemical dermal defence. Damage or penetration of the bacterial plasma membrane is considered essential for AMP activity and such properties are commonly ascribed to their ability to form secondary amphipathic, ?-helix conformations in membrane mimicking milieu. Nevertheless, despite the high similarity in physical properties and preference for adopting such conformations, the spectrum of activity and potency of AMPs often varies considerably. Hence distinguishing apparently similar AMPs according to their behaviour in, and effects on, model membranes will inform understanding of primary-sequence-specific antimicrobial mechanisms. Here we use a combination of molecular dynamics simulations, circular dichroism and patch-clamp to investigate the basis for differing anti-bacterial activities in representative AMPs from each species; temporin L and aurein 2.5. Despite adopting near identical, ?-helix conformations in the steady-state in a variety of membrane models, these two AMPs can be distinguished both in vitro and in silico based on their dynamic interactions with model membranes, notably their differing conformational flexibility at the N-terminus, ability to form higher order aggregates and the characteristics of induced ion conductance. Taken together, these differences provide an explanation of the greater potency and broader antibacterial spectrum of activity of temporin L over aurein 2.5. Consequently, while the secondary amphipathic, ?-helix conformation is a key determinant of the ability of a cationic AMP to penetrate and disrupt the bacterial plasma membrane, the exact mechanism, potency and spectrum of activity is determined by precise structural and dynamic contributions from specific residues in each AMP sequence.
Project description:In the past few years, the World Health Organization has been warning that the post-antibiotic era is an increasingly real threat. The rising and disseminated resistance to antibiotics made mandatory the search for new drugs and/or alternative therapies that are able to eliminate resistant microorganisms and impair the development of new forms of resistance. In this context, antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) and helical cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMP) are highlighted for the treatment of localized infections. This study aimed to combine the AMP aurein 1.2 to aPDT using Enterococcus faecalis as a model strain. Our results demonstrate that the combination of aPDT with aurein 1.2 proved to be a feasible alternative capable of completely eliminating E. faecalis employing low concentrations of both PS and AMP, in comparison with the individual therapies. Aurein 1.2 is capable of enhancing the aPDT activity whenever mediated by methylene blue or chlorin-e6, but not by curcumin, revealing a PS-dependent mechanism. The combined treatment was also effective against different strains; noteworthy, it completely eliminated a vancomycin-resistant strain of Enterococcus faecium. Our results suggest that this combined protocol must be exploited for clinical applications in localized infections as an alternative to antibiotics.
Project description:Previous studies on aurein 2.2 and 2.3 in DMPC/DMPG and POPC/POPG membranes have shown that bilayer thickness and phosphatidylglycerol content have a significant impact on the interaction of these peptides with membrane bilayers. Further examination with the DiSC(3)5 assay has indicated that aurein 2.2 induces greater membrane leakage than aurein 2.3 in Staphylococcus aureus C622. The only difference between these peptides is a Leu to Ile mutation at residue 13. To better understand the importance of this residue, the structure and activity of the L13A, L13F, and L13V mutants were investigated. In addition, we investigated a number of peptides with truncations at the C-terminus to determine whether the C-terminus, which contains residue 13, is crucial for antimicrobial activity. Solution circular dichroism results demonstrated that the L13F mutation and the truncation of the C-terminus by six residues resulted in decreased helical content, whereas the L13A or L13V mutation and the truncation of the C-terminus by three residues showed little to no effect on the structure. Oriented circular dichroism results demonstrated that only an extensive C-terminal truncation reduced the ability of the peptide to insert into lipid bilayers. (31)P NMR spectroscopy showed that all peptides disorder the headgroups. The implications of these results in terms of antimicrobial activity and the ability of these peptides to induce leakage in S. aureus are discussed. The results suggest that the presence of the 13th residue in aurein 2.2 is important for structure and activity, but the exact nature of residue 13 is less important as long as it is a hydrophobic residue.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are promising alternatives to classical antibiotics for the treatment of drug-resistant infections. Due to their versatility and unlimited sequence space, AMPs can be rationally designed by modulating physicochemical determinants to favor desired biological parameters and turned into novel therapeutics. In this study, we utilized key structural and physicochemical parameters, in combination with rational engineering, to design novel short ?-helical hybrid peptides inspired by the well-known natural peptides, cathelicidin and aurein. By comparing homologous sequences and abstracting the conserved residue type, sequence templates of cathelicidin (P0) and aurein (A0) were obtained. Two peptide derivatives, P7 and A3, were generated by amino acid substitution based on their residue composition and distribution. In order to enhance antimicrobial activity, a hybrid analog of P7A3 was designed. The results demonstrated that P7A3 had higher antibacterial activity than the parental peptides with unexpectedly high hemolytic activity. Strikingly, C-terminal truncation of hybrid peptides containing only the ?-helical segment (PA-18) and shorter derivatives confer potent antimicrobial activity with reduced hemolytic activity in a length-dependent manner. Among all, PA-13, showed remarkable broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, especially against Pseudomonas aeruginosa with no toxicity. PA-13 maintained antimicrobial activity in the presence of physiological salts and displayed rapid binding and penetration activity which resulted in membrane depolarization and permeabilization. Moreover, PA-13 showed an anti-inflammatory response via lipopolysaccharide (LPS) neutralization with dose-dependent, inhibiting, LPS-mediated Toll-like receptor activation. This study revealed the therapeutic potency of a novel hybrid peptide, and supports the use of rational design in development of new antibacterial agents.