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J Pept Sci. 2008 Apr;14(4):394-400. doi: 10.1002/psc.1007.

What can light scattering spectroscopy do for membrane-active peptide studies?

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Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-028, Lisboa, Portugal.


Highly charged peptides are important components of the immune system and belong to an important family of antibiotics. Although their therapeutic activity is known, most of the molecular level mechanisms are controversial. A wide variety of different approaches are usually applied to understand their mechanisms, but light scattering techniques are frequently overlooked. Yet, light scattering is a noninvasive technique that allows insights both on the peptide mechanism of action as well as on the development of new antibiotics. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and static light scattering (SLS) are used to measure the aggregation process of lipid vesicles upon addition of peptides and molecular properties (shape, molecular weight). The high charge of these peptides allows electrostatic attraction toward charged lipid vesicles, which is studied by zeta potential (zeta-potential) measurements.

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