Thermodynamic analysis of protegrin-1 insertion and permeation through a lipid bilayer

Victor Vivcharuk, Yiannis N. Kaznessis

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22 Scopus citations


Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to study the pathway for the insertion of the cationic antimicrobial peptide protegrin-1 (PG1) into mixed anionic lipid bilayers composed of palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol (POPG) and palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE) in a 1:3 ratio (POPG/POPE). We calculate the potential of mean force (PMF) during the transfer of the peptide from the bulk aqueous phase to the transmembrane (TM) configuration using the adaptive biasing force (ABF) method. We find that the PMF has two energy minima separated by an energy barrier. One minimum corresponds to the fully transmembrane inserted state, with a free energy of -20.1 kcal/mol. The second PMF minimum, which corresponds to adsorption to the membrane surface, has a value of -2.5 kcal/mol. The PMF also shows the existence of a free energy barrier of +6.3 kcal/mol for the insertion process. Using the Kramers theory Langevin equation and the Grote-Hynes theory generalized Langevin equation, we calculated the transmission coefficient for PG1 diffusion through the potential barrier. We focus on the use of the PMF and the time correlation function of the fluctuation of the instantaneous force to calculate the rate constants for insertion/deinsertion of PG1 from the mixed POPG/POPE membrane. The influence of the activation free energy barrier on the dynamics of the insertion and permeation of peptides through the membrane are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14704-14712
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011


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