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Eur Biophys J. 2014 Jul;43(6-7):255-64. doi: 10.1007/s00249-014-0959-8. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

The interaction of aurein 2.5 with fungal membranes.

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  • 1School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Lancashire Preston, Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.


Aurein 2.5 (GLFDIVKKVVGAFGSL-NH2) is an antimicrobial peptide, which was seen to have activity against Stachybotris chartarum, Penicillium roseopurpureum and Aspergillus flavus with minimum fungicidal concentrations in the range 250-500 μM. S. chartarum showed enhanced susceptibility to lysis as compared to P. roseopurpureum and A. flavus, (44, 26 and 28 % respectively). Monolayers formed from lipid membrane extracts derived from S. chartarum, P. roseopurpureum and A. flavus showed maximal surface pressure changes of 13.5, 10.3 and 10.2 mN m(-1) respectively. However, aurein 2.5 adopted similar levels of α-helical structure (circa 45 %) in the presence of vesicles formed from membrane lipid extracts derived from all three fungi. These data imply that differential activity is not due to targeting and membrane association but linked to the ability of the bound peptide to lyse the cells. At sterol levels mimetic of eukaryotic systems, high levels of α-helical structure (circa 50 %) were also observed and hence similar binding. However, enhanced sterol levels (>0.6) led to a reduction in monolayer membrane interaction, suggesting that the sterols influence efficacy. Consistent with this suggestion, thermodynamic analysis showed that the peptide was able to destabilise model fungal monolayers, as indicated by negative values of ∆Gmix.

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