Structures of the dimeric and monomeric variants of magainin antimicrobial peptides (MSI-78 and MSI-594) in micelles and bilayers, determined by NMR spectroscopy

Fernando Porcelli, Bethany A. Buck-Koehntop, Sathiah Thennarasu, Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, Gianluigi Veglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magainins are antimicrobial peptides that selectively disrupt bacterial cell membranes. In an effort to determine the propensity for oligomerization of specific highly active magainin analogues in membrane mimetic systems, we studied the structures and lipid interactions of two synthetic variants of magainins (MSI-78 and MSI-594) originally designed by Genaera Corp. Using NMR experiments on these peptides solubilized in dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles, we found that the first analogue, MSI-78, forms an antiparallel dimer with a "phenylalanine zipper" holding together two highly helical protomers, whereas the second analogue, MSI-594, whose phenylalanines 12 and 16 were changed into glycine and valine, respectively, does not dimerize under our experimental conditions. In addition, magic angle spinning solid-state NMR experiments carried out on multilamellar vesicles were used to corroborate the helical conformation of the peptides found in detergent micelles and support the existence of a more compact structure for MSI-78 and a pronounced conformational heterogeneity for MSI-594. Since magainin activity is modulated by oligomerization within the membrane bilayers, this study represents a step forward in understanding the role of self-association in determining magainin function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5793-5799
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry
Volume45
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - May 9 2006

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