Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Human Antimicrobial Peptide LL-37 in Model POPC and POPG Lipid Bilayers.
ABSTRACT: Cathelicidins are a large family of cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) found in mammals with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. LL-37 is the sole amphipathic ?-helical AMP from human Cathelicidins family. In addition to its bactericidal capability, LL-37 has antiviral, anti-tumor, and immunoregulatory activity. Despite many experimental studies, its molecular mechanism of action is not yet fully understood. Here, we performed three independent molecular dynamics simulations (600 ns or more) of a LL-37 peptide in the presence of 256 lipid bilayers with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG) mimicking bacterial and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) mimicking mammalian membranes. We found that LL-37 can be quickly absorbed onto the POPG bilayer without loss of its helical conformation in the core region and with the helix lying in parallel to the bilayer. The POPG bilayer was deformed. In contrast, LL-37 is slower in reaching the POPC surface and loss much of its helical conformation during the interaction with the bilayer. LL-37 only partially entered the POPC bilayer without significant deformation of the membrane. The observed difference for different bilayers is largely due to the fact that LL-37 is positively charged, POPG is negatively charged, and POPC is neutral. Our simulation results demonstrated the initial stage of disruption of the bacterial membrane by LL-37 in atomic details. Comparison to experimental results on LL-37 and simulation studies in other systems was made.
Project description:Sample orientation relative to the static magnetic field of an NMR spectrometer allows study of membrane proteins in the lipid bilayer setting. The straightforward preparation and handling of extremely thin mica substrates with consistent surface properties has prompted us to examine oriented phospholipid bilayer and hexagonal phases on mica. The spectral characteristics of oriented lipid samples formed on mica are as good as or better than those on glass. Nine solvents with varying dielectric constants were used to cast lipid films or for vesicle spreading; film characteristics were then compared, and static solid-state 31P-NMR was used to characterize the degree of orientation of the hydrated lipid species. Lipids with four headgroup chemistries were tested: 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG), 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate (DOPA), and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE). Solvent affected orientation of POPG, DOPA, and DOPE, but not POPC. Film characteristics varied with solvent, with ramifications for producing homogeneous oriented lipid samples. POPC was used to optimize the amount of lipid per substrate and compare hydration methods. POPG did not orient reproducibly, whereas POPG-POPC mixtures did. DOPA showed 1-2 oriented states depending upon hydration level and deposition method. DOPE formed an oriented hexagonal phase that underwent a reversible temperature-induced phase transition to the oriented bilayer phase.
Project description:The lipid headgroup plays an important role in the association of polymers with lipid bilayer membranes. Herein, we report how a glycerol headgroup versus a choline headgroup affects the interaction of poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(propylene oxide) (PEO-PPO) block copolymers with lipid bilayer vesicles. Unilamellar vesicles composed of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylglycerol at various molar ratios were used as model membranes. The interactions between the block copolymers and lipid bilayers were quantified by pulsed-field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance (PFG-NMR) based on the distinctly different mobilities of free and bound polymers. All the investigated polymer species showed significantly higher binding with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol) sodium salt (POPG) liposomes than with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) liposomes, indicating stronger association with the glycerol headgroup compared to the choline headgroup. This effect did not become significant until the composition of mixed POPC/POPG liposomes contained more than 20 mol % POPG. A plausible explanation for the enhanced polymer binding with POPG invokes the role of hydrogen bonding between the glycerol headgroup and the ether moieties of the polymers.
Project description:KCNE1 (minK), found in the human heart and cochlea, is a transmembrane protein that modulates the voltage-gated potassium KCNQ1 channel. While KCNE1 has previously been the subject of extensive structural studies in lyso-phospholipid detergent micelles, key observations have yet to be confirmed and refined in lipid bilayers. In this study, a reliable method for reconstituting KCNE1 into lipid bilayer vesicles composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho(1'-rac-glycerol) (sodium salt) (POPG) was developed. Microinjection of the proteoliposomes into Xenopus oocytes expressing the human KCNQ1 (K(V)7.1) voltage-gated potassium channel led to nativelike modulation of the channel. Circular dichroism spectroscopy demonstrated that the percent helicity of KCNE1 is significantly higher for the protein reconstituted in lipid vesicles than for the previously described structure in 1.0% 1-myristoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-phospho(1'-rac-glycerol) (sodium salt) (LMPG) micelles. SDSL electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopic techniques were used to probe the local structure and environment of Ser28, Phe54, Phe57, Leu59, and Ser64 of KCNE1 in both POPC/POPG vesicles and LMPG micelles. Spin-labeled KCNE1 cysteine mutants at Phe54, Phe57, Leu59, and Ser64 were found to be located inside POPC/POPG vesicles, whereas Ser28 was found to be located outside the membrane. Ser64 was shown to be water inaccessible in vesicles but found to be water accessible in LMPG micelle solutions. These results suggest that key components of the micelle-derived structure of KCNE1 extend to the structure of this protein in lipid bilayers but also demonstrate the need to refine this structure using data derived from the bilayer-reconstituted protein to more accurately define its native structure. This work establishes the basis for such future studies.
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:The transacting activator of transduction (TAT) protein plays a key role in the progression of AIDS. Studies have shown that a +8 charged sequence of amino acids in the protein, called the TAT peptide, enables the TAT protein to penetrate cell membranes. To probe mechanisms of binding and translocation of the TAT peptide into the cell, investigators have used phospholipid liposomes as cell membrane mimics. We have used the method of surface potential sensitive second harmonic generation (SHG), which is a label-free and interface-selective method, to study the binding of TAT to anionic 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-1'-rac-glycerol (POPG) and neutral 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) liposomes. It is the SHG sensitivity to the electrostatic field generated by a charged interface that enabled us to obtain the interfacial electrostatic potential. SHG together with the Poisson-Boltzmann equation yielded the dependence of the surface potential on the density of adsorbed TAT. We obtained the dissociation constants Kd for TAT binding to POPC and POPG liposomes and the maximum number of TATs that can bind to a given liposome surface. For POPC Kd was found to be 7.5 ± 2 ?M, and for POPG Kd was 29.0 ± 4.0 ?M. As TAT was added to the liposome solution the POPC surface potential changed from 0 mV to +37 mV, and for POPG it changed from -57 mV to -37 mV. A numerical calculation of Kd, which included all terms obtained from application of the Poisson-Boltzmann equation to the TAT liposome SHG data, was shown to be in good agreement with an approximated solution.
Project description:We utilized epifluorescence microscopy to investigate the morphological changes in labeled lipid bilayers supported on quartz surfaces (SLBs) induced by the interaction of cationic antimicrobial peptides with the lipid membranes. The SLBs were prepared from 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE) and mixtures thereof as well as from Escherichia coli lipid extract. We succeeded in the preparation of POPG and POPG-rich SLBs without the necessity to use fusogenic agents such as calcium by using the Langmuir-Blodgett/Langmuir-Schaefer transfer method. The adsorption of the peptides to the SLBs was initially driven by electrostatic interactions with the PG headgroups and led to the formation of lipid protrusions bulging out from the lipid layer facing the bulk, originating particularly from domain boundaries and membrane defects. The shape, size, and frequency of the lipid protrusions are mainly controlled by the peptide macroscopic properties and the membrane composition. A restructuring of the lipid protrusions into other structures can also occur over time.
Project description:Membrane lipids have been implicated to influence the activity of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Almost all of our knowledge on the role of lipids on GPCR and G protein function comes from work on the visual pigment rhodopsin and its G protein transducin, which reside in a highly specialized membrane environment. Thus, insight gained from rhodopsin signaling may not be simply translated to other nonvisual GPCRs. Here, we investigated the effect of lipid head group charges on the signal transduction properties of the class A GPCR neurotensin (NT) receptor 1 (NTS1) under defined experimental conditions, using self-assembled phospholipid nanodiscs prepared with the zwitter-ionic lipid 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), the negatively charged 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol) (POPG), or a POPC/POPG mixture. A combination of dynamic light scattering and sedimentation velocity showed that NTS1 was monomeric in POPC-, POPC/POPG-, and POPG-nanodiscs. Binding of the agonist NT to NTS1 occurred with similar affinities and was essentially unaffected by the phospholipid composition. In contrast, Gq protein coupling to NTS1 in various lipid nanodiscs was significantly different, and the apparent affinity of G?q and G?(1)?(1) to activated NTS1 increased with increasing POPG content. NTS1-catalyzed GDP/GTP?S nucleotide exchange at G?q in the presence of G?(1)?(1) and NT was crucially affected by the lipid type, with exchange rates higher by 1 or 2 orders of magnitude in POPC/POPG- and POPG-nanodiscs, respectively, compared to POPC-nanodiscs. Our data demonstrate that negatively charged lipids in the immediate vicinity of a nonvisual GPCR modulate the G-protein-coupling step.
Project description:The synthetic 25-residue signal peptide of cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV was labelled with the fluorophor 7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazole (NBD) at its single cysteine residue. Addition of small unilamellar vesicles of 1-palmitoyl 2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC) to the labelled peptide resulted in a shift of the NBD excitation and emission spectra to shorter wavelengths. Binding of the peptide to the vesicles was measured by the increase in the fluorescence emission yield. A surface partition constant of (3.9 +/- 0.5) x 10(3) M-1 was derived from these titrations. When the membrane contained, in addition to POPC, negatively charged 1-palmitoyl 2-oleoyl phosphatidylglycerol (POPG), the NBD fluorescence spectra were further shifted to shorter wavelengths and exhibited increased quantum yields. The apparent partition constants were increased to 10(4)-10(5) M-1 for vesicles with 20 or 100 mol% POPG. Lateral diffusion of the peptide was measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in multibilayers of POPC, POPG, POPC/POPG (4:1) and 1,2-dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine. The lateral diffusion coefficients of the peptide in bilayers of POPC (8 x 10(-8) cm2/s at 21 degrees C) were 1.5-1.6-fold greater than those of NBD-labelled phospholipids (5 x 10(-8) cm2/s at 21 degrees C), but 1.5-1.8-fold smaller (3 x 10(-8) cm2/s in 20% POPG and at 21 degrees C) than the lipid diffusion coefficients in the negatively charged bilayers. It is concluded that the signal peptide associates with phospholipid bilayers in two different forms, which depend on the lipid charge. The experiments with POPC bilayers are well explained by a model in which the peptide partitions into the region of the phospholipid head-groups and diffuses along the membrane/water interface. If POPG is present in the membrane, electrostatic attractions between the basic residues of the peptide and the acidic lipid head-groups result in a deeper penetration of the bilayer. For this case, two models that are both consistent with the experimental data are discussed, in which the peptide either forms an oligomer of three to six partially helical membrane-spanning monomers, or inserts into the bilayer with its amphiphilic helical segment aligned parallel to the plane of the membrane and located near the head-group and outer hydrocarbon region of the bilayer.
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:The envelope (E) protein of Dengue virus rearranges to a trimeric hairpin to mediate fusion of the viral and target membranes, which is essential for infectivity. Insertion of E into the target membrane serves to anchor E and possibly also to disrupt local order within the membrane. Both aspects are likely to be affected by the depth of insertion, orientation of the trimer with respect to the membrane normal, and the interactions that form between trimer and membrane. In the present work, we resolved the depth of insertion, the tilt angle, and the fundamental interactions for the soluble portion of Dengue E trimers (sE) associated with planar lipid bilayer membranes of various combinations of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-rac-glycerol (POPG), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE), and cholesterol (CHOL) by neutron reflectivity (NR) and by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The results show that the tip of E containing the fusion loop (FL) is located at the interface of the headgroups and acyl chains of the outer leaflet of the lipid bilayers, in good agreement with prior predictions. The results also indicate that E tilts with respect to the membrane normal upon insertion, promoted by either the anionic lipid POPG or CHOL. The simulations show that tilting of the protein correlates with hydrogen bond formation between lysines and arginines located on the sides of the trimer close to the tip (K246, K247, and R73) and nearby lipid headgroups. These hydrogen bonds provide a major contribution to the membrane anchoring and may help to destabilize the target membrane.