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Keywords:

  • anticancer drugs;
  • antimicrobial peptides;
  • electrostatics interactions;
  • membrane;
  • molecular dynamics simulation

LAH4 is an antimicrobial peptide that is believed to possess both antibiotic and DNA delivery capabilities. It is one of a number of membrane-active peptides that show increased affinity toward anionic lipids. Herein, we have performed molecular dynamics simulations to compare LAH4 effects on anionic palmitoyl–oleoyl–phosphatidylglycerol bilayer, which approximate a prokaryotic membrane environment and zwitterionic palmitoyl–oleoyl–phosphatidylcholine bilayer, which approximate a eukaryotic membrane environment. One particular interest in this work is to study how different kinds of lipid bilayers respond to the attraction of LAH4. Remarkably, our data have shown that the depth of peptide penetration strongly depends on membrane composition and pH. At acidic pH, LAH4 has exhibited a high tendency to interact strongly with and be adsorbed on anionic membrane. We have also shown that electrostatic interactions between His11 and the phosphor atoms of bilayers should have a significant impact on the penetration of LAH4. These results provide insights into the interactions of LAH4 and lipid bilayers at the atomic level, which is useful to understand cell selectivity and mechanism of the peptide action.