Influence of Acyl Chain Saturation on the Membrane-Binding Activity of a Short Antimicrobial Peptide

Daniela Ciumac, Richard Campbell, Luke Clifton, Hai Xu, Giovanna Fragneto, Jian Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Different bacterial types and their living environments can lead to different saturations in the chains of their membrane lipids. Such structural differences may influence the efficacy of antibiotics that target bacterial membranes. In this work, the effects of acyl chain saturation on the binding of an antimicrobial peptide G4 have been examined as a function of the packing density of lipid monolayers by combining external reflection Fourier transform infrared (ER-FTIR) spectroscopy and neutron reflection (NR) measurements. Langmuir monolayers were formed from 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol) (DPPG) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol)(POPG), respectively, with the initial surface pressures controlled at 8 and 28 mN/m. A reduction in the order of the acyl chains associated with the increase in the layer thickness upon G4 binding was revealed from ER-FTIR spectroscopy, with peptide binding reaching equilibration faster in POPG than in DPPG monolayers. Whereas the dynamic DPPG-binding process displayed a steady increase in the amide I band area, the POPG-binding process showed little change in the amide area after the initial period. The peptide amide I area from ER-FTIR spectroscopy could be linearly correlated with the adsorbed G4 amount from NR, irrespective of time, initial pressure, or chain saturation, with clearly more peptide incorporated into the DPPG monolayer. Furthermore, NR revealed that although the peptide was associated with both POPG and DPPG lipid monolayers, it was more extensively distributed in the latter, showing that acyl chain saturation clearly promoted peptide binding and structural disruption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7482-7492
Number of pages11
JournalACS Omega
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017




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