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Biochem J. 2000 Aug 1;349 Pt 3:747-55.

Diastereoisomeric analogues of gramicidin S: structure, biologicalactivity and interaction with lipid bilayers.

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Protein Engineering Network of Centres of Excellence, 713 Heritage Medical Research Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Analogues of a structurally equivalent version of theantimicrobial decameric cyclic peptide gramicidin S, GS10 [cyclo-(Val-Lys-Leu-d-Tyr-Pro)(2)], were designed to study theeffect of distortion in the beta-sheet/beta-turn structure of thecyclic peptide on its biological activity. In one approach, thehydrophobic nature of GS10 was conserved, and single amino acids in itsbackbone were replaced systematically with their correspondingenantiomers to give five diastereoisomeric analogues. In a relatedapproach, a more basic and hydrophilic analogue of GS10 [cyclo-(Lys-Val-Lys-d-Tyr-Pro(5)-Lys-Leu-Lys-d-Tyr-Pro(10))], together with two of itsmonosubstituted diastereoisomeric analogues (featuring d-Lys(1) or d-Val(2) respectively), weresynthesized. CD spectra were measured in a variety of environments,i.e. aqueous, aqueous trifluoroethanol and those containing SDSmicelles or phospholipid vesicles. In comparison with GS10 spectra, CDspectra of both groups of analogues in these environments exhibitedstructural distortion. Moreover, compared with GS10, antimicrobial andhaemolytic activities of the analogues were drastically decreased, implying the existence of a threshold minimum amphipathicity foreffective biological activity. However, in both groups of analogues,there was a correlation between amphipathicity and antimicrobial andhaemolytic activities. In the second group of analogues, bothelectrostatic and hydrophobic factors were related to theirantimicrobial and haemolytic activities. In order to gain an insightinto the nature of the biological activity of the two classes of cyclicpeptides, the relationship of their structure to interaction with lipidmembranes, and the implied mechanisms, were analysed in some detail inthe present study.

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