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Title: Novel Helical Trp‐ and Arg‐Rich Antimicrobial Peptides Locate Near Membrane Surfaces and Rigidify Lipid Model Membranes

Antibiotics are losing effectiveness as bacteria become resistant to conventional drugs. To find new alternatives, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are rationally designed with different lengths, charges, hydrophobicities (H), and hydrophobic moments (μH), containing only three types of amino acids: arginine, tryptophan, and valine. Six AMPs with low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and <25% toxicity to mammalian cells are selected for biophysical studies. Their secondary structures are determined using circular dichroism (CD), which finds that the % α‐helicity of AMPs depends on composition of the lipid model membranes (LMMs): gram‐negative (G(−)) inner membrane (IM) >gram‐positive (G(+))> Euk33 (eukaryotic with 33 mol% cholesterol). The two most effective peptides, E2‐35 (16 amino acid [AA] residues) and E2‐05 (22 AAs), are predominantly helical in G(–) IM and G(+) LMMs. AMP/membrane interactions such as membrane elasticity, chain order parameter, and location of the peptides in the membrane are investigated by low‐angle and wide‐angle X‐ray diffuse scattering (XDS). It is found that headgroup location correlates with efficacy and toxicity. The membrane bending modulusKCdisplays nonmonotonic changes due to increasing concentrations of E2‐35 and E2‐05 in G(–) and G(+) LMMs, suggesting a bacterial killing mechanism where domain formation causes ion and water leakage.

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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced NanoBiomed Research
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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