Using fluorine nuclear magnetic resonance to probe the interaction of membrane-active peptides with the lipid bilayer.
A variety of biologically active peptides exert their function through direct interactions with the lipid membrane of the cell. These surface interactions are generally transient and highly dynamic, making them hard to study. Here we have examined the feasibility of using solution phase (19)F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study peptide-membrane interactions. Using the antimicrobial peptide MSI-78 as a model system, we demonstrate that peptide binding to either small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) or bicelles can readily be detected by simple one-dimensional (19)F NMR experiments with peptides labeled with l-4,4,4-trifluoroethylglycine. The (19)F chemical shift associated with the peptide-membrane complex is sensitive both to the position of the trifluoromethyl reporter group (whether in the hydrophobic face or positively charged face of the amphipathic peptide) and to the curvature of the lipid bilayer (whether the peptide is bound to SUVs or bicelles). (19)F spin echo experiments using the Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill pulse sequence were used to measure the transverse relaxation (T(2)) of the nucleus and thereby examine the local mobility of the MSI-78 analogues bound to bicelles. The fluorine probe positioned in the hydrophobic face of the peptide relaxes at a rate that correlates with the tumbling of the bicelle, suggesting that it is relatively immobile, whereas the probe at the positively charged face relaxes more slowly, indicating this position is much more dynamic. These results are in accord with structural models of MSI-78 bound to lipids and point to the feasibility of using fluorine-labeled peptides to monitor peptide-membrane interactions in living cells.
Buer, BC; Chugh, J; Al-Hashimi, HM; Marsh, ENG
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