SB056 is a novel semi-synthetic antimicrobial peptide with a dimeric dendrimer scaffold. Active against both Gram-negative and -positive bacteria, its mechanism has been attributed to a disruption of bacterial membranes. The branched peptide was shown to assume a β-stranded conformation in a lipidic environment. Here, we report on a rational modification of the original, empirically derived linear peptide sequence [WKKIRVRLSA-NH2, SB056-lin]. We interchanged the first two residues [KWKIRVRLSA-NH2, β-SB056-lin] to enhance the amphipathic profile, in the hope that a more regular β-strand would lead to a better antimicrobial performance. MIC values confirmed that an enhanced amphiphilic profile indeed significantly increases activity against both Gram-positive and -negative strains. The membrane binding affinity of both peptides, measured by tryptophan fluorescence, increased with an increasing ratio of negatively charged/zwitterionic lipids. Remarkably, β-SB056-lin showed considerable binding even to purely zwitterionic membranes, unlike the original sequence, indicating that besides electrostatic attraction also the amphipathicity of the peptide structure plays a fundamental role in binding, by stabilizing the bound state. Synchrotron radiation circular dichroism and solid-state 19F-NMR were used to characterize and compare the conformation and mobility of the membrane bound peptides. Both SB056-lin and β-SB056-lin adopt a β-stranded conformation upon binding POPC vesicles, but the former maintains an intrinsic structural disorder that also affects its aggregation tendency. Upon introducing some anionic POPG into the POPC matrix, the sequence-optimized β-SB056-lin forms well-ordered β-strands once electro-neutrality is approached, and it aggregates into more extended β-sheets as the concentration of anionic lipids in the bilayer is raised. The enhanced antimicrobial activity of the analogue correlates with the formation of these extended β-sheets, which also leads to a dramatic alteration of membrane integrity as shown by 31P-NMR. These findings are generally relevant for the design and optimization of other membrane-active antimicrobial peptides that can fold into amphipathic β-strands.
|Titolo:||Enhanced amphiphilic profile of a short beta-stranded peptide improves its antimicrobial activity|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Tipologia:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|