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The Synergistic Action of Melittin and Phospholipase A2 with Lipid Membranes: Development of Linear Dichroism for Membrane-Insertion Kinetics

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Abstract:

Here we present data on the kinetics of insertion of melittin, a peptide from bee venom, into lipid membranes of different composition. Another component of bee venom is the enzyme phospholipase A2 (PLA2). We have examined the interaction of melittin and PLA2 with liposomes both separately and combined and demonstrate that they work synergistically to disrupt the membranes. A dramatic difference in the action of melittin and PLA2 is observed when the composition of the membrane is altered. Temperature also has a large effect on the kinetics of insertion and membrane disruption. We use a combination of techniques to measure liposome size (dynamic light scattering), peptide secondary structure (circular dichroism spectroscopy), peptide orientation relative to the membrane (linear dichroism spectroscopy) and enzymatic digestion of the lipids (mass spectrometry).





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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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