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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 May 9;369(3):853-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.02.105. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Interactions of a designed peptide with lipopolysaccharide: Bound conformation and anti-endotoxic activity.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551, Singapore.


Designed peptides that would selectively interact with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or endotoxin and fold into specific conformations could serve as important scaffolds toward the development of antisepsis compounds. Here, we describe solution structure of a designed amphipathic peptide, H(2)N-YVKLWRMIKFIR-CONH(2) (YW12D) in complex with endotoxin as determined by transferred nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy. The conformation of the isolated peptide is highly flexible, but undergoes a dramatic structural stabilization in the presence of LPS. Structure calculations reveal that the peptide presents two amphipathic surfaces in its bound state to LPS whereby each surface is characterized by two positive charges and a number of aromatic and/or aliphatic residues. ITC data suggests that peptide interacts with two molecules of lipid A. In activity assays, YW12D exhibits neutralization of LPS toxicity with very little hemolysis of red blood cells. Structural and functional properties of YW12D would be applicable in designing low molecular weight non-toxic antisepsis molecules.

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