Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immune system of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria and are recently under discussion as promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics. We have investigated two cecropin-like synthetic peptides, Gm1, which corresponds to the natural overall uncharged Galleria mellonella native peptide and ?Gm1, a modified overall positively charged Gm1 variant. We have analysed these peptides for their potential to inhibit the endotoxin-induced secretion of tumour necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) from human mononuclear cells. Furthermore, in a conventional microbiological assay, the ability of these peptides to inhibit the growth of the rough mutant bacteria Salmonella enterica Minnesota R60 and the polymyxin B-resistant Proteus mirabilis R45 was investigated and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements were performed to characterize the morphology of the bacteria treated by the two peptides. We have also studied their cytotoxic properties in a haemolysis assay to clarify potential toxic effects. Our data revealed for both peptides minor anti-inflammatory (anti-endotoxin) activity, but demonstrated antimicrobial activity with differences depending on the endotoxin composition of the respective bacteria. In accordance with the antimicrobial assay, AFM data revealed a stronger morphology change of the R45 bacteria than for the R60. Furthermore, Gm1 had a stronger effect on the bacteria than ?Gm1, leading to a different morphology regarding indentations and coalescing of bacterial structures. The findings verify the biophysical measurements with the peptides on model systems. Both peptides lack any haemolytic activity up to an amount of 100?g/ml, making them suitable as new anti-infective agents.
In this work, we report a detailed study of the microsolvation of anionic ibuprofen, Ibu(-). Stochastic explorations of the configurational spaces for the interactions of Ibu(-) with up to three water molecules at the DFT level lead to very rich and complex potential energy surfaces. Our results suggest that instead of only one preponderant structure, a collection of isomers with very similar energies would have significant contributions to the properties of the solvated drug. One of these properties is the shift on the vibrational frequencies of the asymmetric stretching band of the carboxylate group in hydrated Ibu(-) with respect to the anhydrous drug, whose experimental values are nicely reproduced using the weighted contribution of the structures. We found at least three types of stabilizing interactions, including conventional CO2(-)?H2O, H2O?H2O charge assisted hydrogen bonds (HBs), and less common H2O?H-C and H2O?? interactions. Biological water molecules, those in direct contact with Ibu(-), prefer to cluster around the carboxylate oxygen atoms via cyclic or bridged charge assisted hydrogen bonds. Many of those interactions are strongly affected by the formal carboxylate charge, resulting in "enhanced" HBs with increased strengths and degree of covalency. We found striking similarities between this case and the microsolvation of dymethylphosphate, which lead us to hypothesize that since microsolvation of phosphatidylcholine depends mainly on the formal charge of its ionic PO2(-) group in the polar head, then microsolvation of anionic ibuprofen and interactions of water molecules with eukaryotic cell membranes are governed by the same types of physical interactions.
Natural occurring antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immune system of animals and plants. They are considered to be promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Here we present a comparative study of two synthetic peptides: Gm1, corresponding to the natural overall uncharged peptide from Galleria mellonella (Gm) and ?Gm1, a modified overall positively charged Gm1 variant. We have studied the interaction of the peptides with lipid membranes composed of different kinds of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG), in some cases also dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) as representative lipid components of Gram-negative bacterial membranes, by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Förster resonance energy transfer spectroscopy (FRET), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Gm1 generates a destabilizing effect on the gel to liquid crystalline phase transition of the acyl chains of the lipids, as deduced from a decrease in the phase transition temperature and enthalpy, suggesting a fluidization, whereas ?Gm1 led to the opposite behavior. Further, FTIR analysis of the functional groups of the lipids participating in the interaction with the peptides indicated a shift in the band position and intensity of the asymmetric PO2(-) stretching vibration originating from the lipid phosphate groups, a consequence of the sterical changes in the head group region. Interestingly, FRET spectroscopy showed a similar intercalation of both peptides into the DMPG and LPS, but much less into the DMPE membrane systems. These results are discussed in the light of a possible use of the peptides as antimicrobial and anti-endotoxin drugs.
This report presents evidence that the following Solanum steroids: solasodine, diosgenin and solanine interact with human erythrocytes and molecular models of their membranes as follows: a) X-ray diffraction studies showed that the compounds at low molar ratios (0.1-10.0mol%) induced increasing structural perturbation to dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayers and to a considerable lower extent to those of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine; b) differential scanning calorimetry data showed that the compounds were able to alter the cooperativity of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine and dimyristoylphosphatidylserine phase transitions in a concentration-dependent manner; c) in the presence of steroids, the fluorescence of Merocyanine 540 incorporated to the membranes decreased suggesting a fluidization of the lipid system; d) scanning electron microscopy observations showed that all steroids altered the normal shape of human erythrocytes inducing mainly echinocytosis, characterized by the formation of blebs in their surfaces, an indication that their molecules are located into the outer monolayer of the erythrocyte membrane.
We present an exhaustive stochastic search of the quantum conformational spaces of the (CH(3)O)(2)PO(2)(-) + nH(2)O (n = 1,2,3) systems. We uncover structural, conformational and energetic features of the problem. As in the isolated species, clusters containing the gauche-gauche (gg) conformation of dimethylphosphate (DMP(-)) are energetically preferred, however, contributions from hydrated gauche-anti (ga) and anti-anti (aa) monomers cannot be neglected because such structures are quite common and because they are close in energy to those containing the gg monomer. At least seven distinct types of O???H-O-H contacts lead to DMP(-) ? water interactions that are always stabilizing, but not strong enough to induce significant changes in the geometries of either DMP(-) or water units. Our results lead us to postulate DMP(-) to be a suitable model to study explicit and detailed aspects of microsolvation of cell membranes.
This report presents evidence that ibuprofen interacts with red cell membranes as follows: a) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies on human erythrocytes induced shape changes at a concentration as low as 10?M; b) in isolated unsealed human erythrocyte membranes (IUM) induced mild increase in the water content or in their molecular dynamics at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic interphase, while a corresponding ordering decrease at the deep phospholipids acyl chain level; c) at physiological temperature (37°C), 300?M ibuprofen induced a significant increase in the generalized polarization (GP) of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) large unilamellar vesicles (LUV), an indication that ibuprofen molecules locate in the head polar group region of DMPC; d) X-ray diffraction studies showed that ibuprofen concentrations?300?M induced increasing structural perturbation to DMPC bilayers; e) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) data showed that ibuprofen was able to alter the cooperativity of DMPC phase transition in a concentration-dependent manner, to destabilize the gel phase and that ibuprofen did not significantly perturb the organization of the lipid hydrocarbon chains. Additionally, the effect on the viability of both human promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 and human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells was studied.
Naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), has been widely investigated in terms of its pharmacological action, but less is known about its effects on cell membranes and particularly those of human erythrocytes. In the present work, the structural effects on the human erythrocyte membrane and molecular models have been investigated. The latter consisted in bilayers built-up of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE), classes of lipids found in the outer and inner moieties of the erythrocyte and most cell membranes, respectively. This report presents evidence that naproxen interacts with red cell membranes as follows: a) in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies on human erythrocytes it has been observed that the drug induced shape changes, forming echinocytes at a concentration as low as 10microM; b) X-ray diffraction showed that naproxen strongly interacted with DMPC multilayers; in contrast, no perturbing effects on DMPE multilayers were detected; c) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) data showed a decrease in the melting temperature (T(m)) of DMPC liposomes, which was attributed to a destabilization of the gel phase, effect that was less pronounced for DMPE. These experimental results were observed at concentrations lower than those reported for plasma after therapeutic administration. This is the first time in which the structural effects of naproxen on the human erythrocyte membrane have been described.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) represent non-specific inhibitors of the cycloxygenase pathway of inflammation, and therefore an understanding of the interaction process of the drugs with membrane phospholipids is of high relevance. We have studied the interaction of the NSAIDs with phospholipid membranes made from dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Förster resonance energy transfer spectroscopy (FRET), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). FTIR data obtained via attenuated total reflectance (ATR) show that the interaction between DMPC and NSAIDs is limited to a strong interaction of the drugs with the phosphate region of the lipid head group. The FTIR transmission data furthermore are indicative of a strong effect of the drugs on the hydrocarbon chains inducing a reduction of the chain-chain interactions, i.e., a fluidization effect. Parallel to this, from the DSC data beside the decrease of T(m) a reduction of the peak height of the melting endotherm connected with its broadening is observed, but leaving the overall phase transition enthalpy constant. Additionally, phase separation is observed, inducing the formation of a NSAID-rich and a NSAID-poor phase. This is especially pronounced for Diclofenac. Despite the strong influence of the drugs on the acyl chain moiety, FRET data do not reveal any evidence for drug incorporation into the lipid matrix, and ITC measurements performed do not exhibit any heat production due to drug binding. This implies that the interaction process is governed by only entropic reactions at the lipid/water interface.
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