Biophysical studies on the antimicrobial activity of linearized esculentin 2EM

March 24, 2020


Biophysical studies on the antimicrobial activity of linearized esculentin 2EM


Erum Malik, David A. Phoenix, Kamal Badiani, Timothy J. Snape, Frederick Harris, Jaipaul Singh, Leslie Hugh Glyn Morton, Sarah R. Dennison




Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes


Linearized esculentin 2 EM (E2EM-lin) from the frog, Glandirana emeljanovi was highly active against Gram-positive bacteria (minimum lethal concentration ≤ 5.0 μM) and strongly α-helical in the presence of lipid mimics of their membranes (>55.0%). The N-terminal α-helical structure adopted by E2EM-lin showed the potential to form a membrane interactive, tilted peptide with an hydrophobicity gradient over residues 9 to 23. E2EM-lin inserted strongly into lipid mimics of membranes from Gram-positive bacteria (maximal surface pressure changes ≥5.5 mN m−1), inducing increased rigidity (Cs−1 ↑), thermodynamic instability (ΔGmix < 0 → ΔGmix > 0) and high levels of lysis (>50.0%). These effects appeared to be driven by the high anionic lipid content of membranes from Gram-positive bacteria; namely phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and cardiolipin (CL) species. The high levels of α-helicity (60.0%), interaction (maximal surface pressure change = 6.7 mN m−1) and lysis (66.0%) shown by E2EM-lin with PG species was a major driver in the ability of the peptide to lyse and kill Gram-positive bacteria. E2EM-lin also showed high levels of α-helicity (62.0%) with CL species but only low levels of interaction (maximal surface pressure change = 2.9 mN m−1) and lysis (21.0%) with the lipid. These combined data suggest that E2EM-lin has a specificity for killing Gram-positive bacteria that involves the formation of tilted structure and appears to be primarily driven by PG-mediated membranolysis. These structure/function relationships are used to help explain the pore forming process proposed to describe the membranolytic, antibacterial action of E2EM-lin.


FP-6500, J-815


Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Vesicle interactions, Membrane interactions, Chemical stability, Fluorescence, Quantiation, Biochemistry