Membrane pore-formation correlates with the hydrophilic angle of histidine-rich amphipathic peptides with multiple biological activities
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes
The LAH4 family of amphipathic peptides exhibits pronounced antimicrobial, cell penetrating and nucleic acid transfection activities. Furthermore, variants were designed with potent lentiviral transduction enhancement. When viewed along a helical wheel the four histidines are arranged to form an amphipathic structure. In order to optimize some of these biological activities the number of leucine and alanine residues exposed to the hydrophilic surface was systematically varied which resulted in the design of vectofusin a peptide with strong lentiviral transduction enhancement activities. Here the series of peptides with varying numbers of alanine or leucine residues, respectively, framed by the histidines was tested for their calcein release activity. Interestingly, the membrane pore formation and DNA transfection activities show a clear correlation with the hydrophilic angle. In contrast the membrane partitioning and the propensity to adopt helical conformations was hardly affected as long as the hydrophilic angle did not exceed a limiting value of 150°.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Vesicle interactions, Membrane interactions, Biochemistry