Is the Mirror Image a True Reflection? Intrinsic Membrane Chirality Modulates Peptide Binding
Sónia Troeira Henriques, Hayden Peacock, Aurélie H. Benfield, Conan K. Wang, David J. Craik
Peptides with pharmaceutical activities are attractive drug leads, and knowledge of their mode-of-action is essential for translation into the clinic. Comparison of native and enantiomeric peptides has long been used as a powerful approach to discriminate membrane- or receptor-mediated modes-of-action on the basis of the assumption that interactions with cell membranes are independent of peptide chirality. Here, we revisit this paradigm with the cyclotide kalata B1, a drug scaffold with intrinsic membrane-binding activity whose enantiomer is less potent than native peptide. To investigate this chirality dependence, we compared peptide-lipid binding using mirror image model membranes. We synthesized phospholipids with non-natural chirality and demonstrate that native kalata B1 binds with higher affinity to phospholipids with chirality found in eukaryotic membranes. This study shows for the first time that the chiral environment of lipid bilayers can modulate the function of membrane-active peptides and challenges the view that peptide–lipid interactions are achiral.
Circular dichroism, Stereochemistry, Biochemistry