Flexibility vs rigidity of amphipathic peptide conjugates when interacting with lipid bilayers
Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 2017, 1859 (12), 2505-2515
For the first time, the photoisomerization of a diarylethene moiety (DAET) in peptide conjugates was used to probe the effects of molecular rigidity/flexibility on the structure and behavior of model peptides bound to lipid membranes. The DAET unit was incorporated into the backbones of linear peptide-based constructs, connecting two amphipathic sequences (derived from the beta-stranded peptide (KIGAKI)3 and/or the alpha-helical peptide BP100). A beta-strand-DAET-alpha-helix and an alpha-helix-DAET-alpha-helix models were synthesized and studied in phospholipid membranes. Light-induced photoisomerization of the linker allowed the generation of two forms of each conjugate, which differed in the conformational mobility of the junction between the alpha-helical and/or the beta-stranded part of these peptidomimetic molecules. A detailed study of their structural, orientational and conformational behavior, both in isotropic solution and in phospholipid model membranes, was carried out using circular dichroism and solid-state (19)F-NMR spectroscopy. The study showed that the rigid and flexible forms of the two conjugates had appreciably different structures only when embedded in an anisotropic lipid environment and only in the gel phase. The influence of the rigidity/flexibility of the studied conjugates on the lipid thermotropic phase transition was also investigated by differential scanning calorimetry. Both models were found to destabilize the lamellar gel phases.