Role of amphipathicity and hydrophobicity in the balance between hemolysis and peptide–membrane interactions of three related antimicrobial peptides
Axel Hollmann, Melina Martínez, Martín E. Noguera, Marcelo T. Augusto, Anibal Disalvo, Nuno C. Santos, Liliana Semorile, Paulo C. Maffía
Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) represent important self defense molecules in many organisms, including humans. These peptides have a broad spectrum of activities, killing or neutralizing many Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The emergence of multidrug resistant microbes has stimulated research on the development of alternative antibiotics. In the search for new antibiotics, cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) offer a viable alternative to conventional antibiotics, as they physically disrupt the bacterial membranes, leading to lysis of microbial membranes and eventually cell death. In particular, the group of linear α-helical cationic peptides has attracted increasing interest from clinical as well as basic research during the last decade. In this work, we studied the biophysical and microbiological characteristics of three new designed CAMPs. We modified a previously studied CAMP sequence, in order to increase or diminish the hydrophobic face, changing the position of two lysines or replacing three leucines, respectively. These mutations modified the hydrophobic moment of the resulting peptides and allowed us to study the importance of this parameter in the membrane interactions of the peptides. The structural properties of the peptides were also correlated with their membrane-disruptive abilities, antimicrobial activities and hemolysis of human red blood cells.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Vesicle interactions, Biochemistry