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An Atomic Force Microscopy Study of the Interactions Between Indolicidin and Supported Planar Bilayers

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Indolicidin, a tryptophane-rich antimicrobial peptide, was used to investigate the interactions with a zwitterionic phosphatidylcholine as a model membrane system. In situ atomic force microscopy in liquid medium and phosphatidylcholine supported planar bilayers enabled the study of the interactions between indolicidin and the lipid membrane in real time. It was evident that indolicidin induced a continuous shrinking and thinning of the supported planar bilayers. The effect of indolicidin was dependent upon the composition and physical properties of the membrane bilayer. The interaction of indolicidine with the membrane could be best and most pronounced seen and studied at the boundary of the gel-fluid-domains. Dye leakage experiments with phosphatidylcholine vesicles encapsulated with calcein revealed that indolicidin induced fluidisation of the lipid membrane leading to dye release. The present study indicates that the mode of action for indolicidin can be best described by a stepwise interaction of the peptide with the membrane. Formation of pores however can not be supported on the basis of our experiments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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