Vibrational circular dichroism study of polypeptide model–membrane systems

July 28, 2017


Vibrational circular dichroism study of polypeptide model–membrane systems


Pavlína Novotná, Marie Urbanová




Analytical Biochemistry


In this article, we describe the mutual structural effect of the interaction between the model membranes and polylysine and poly-l-arginine. Vibrational circular dichroism (VCD), a method exceptionally sensitive to the polypeptide structure that has not been established in such studies before, was the primary method of this study. A complementary technique, electronic circular dichroism, was applied to verify the newly obtained results and as a bridge to the previous studies. We used micelles composed of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as a monolayer membrane model and large unilamellar vesicles composed of phospholipids as a bilayer membrane model. We describe the conformational changes of the polypeptides caused by the interaction with the model membranes. Among others, the presence of the liposomes in the solution generated special conditions for the formation of the α-helical structure of poly-l-arginine; the presence of SDS induced the formation of the β-structure of polylysine. From a methodological point of view, we emphasize the advantages of infrared spectroscopic techniques for the liposomic membrane studies as well as the preference of ultraviolet techniques for smaller micellar systems.




Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Protein folding, Vesicle interactions, Biochemistry