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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1678. doi: 10.1038/srep01678.

Lipid-II forms potential "landing terrain" for lantibiotics in simulated bacterial membrane.

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M.M. Shemyakin and Yu.A. Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


Bacterial cell wall is targeted by many antibiotics. Among them are lantibiotics, which realize their function via interaction with plasma membrane lipid-II molecule - a chemically conserved part of the cell wall synthesis pathway. To investigate structural and dynamic properties of this molecule, we have performed a series of nearly microsecond-long molecular dynamics simulations of lipid-II and some of its analogs in zwitterionic single component and charged mixed simulated phospholipid bilayers (the reference and the mimic of the bacterial plasma membrane, respectively). Extensive analysis revealed that lipid-II forms a unique "amphiphilic pattern" exclusively on the surface of the simulated bacterial membrane (and not in the reference one). We hypothesize that many lantibiotics exploit the conserved features of lipid-II along with characteristic modulation of the bacterial membrane as the "landing site". This putative recognition mechanism opens new opportunities for studies on lantibiotics action and design of novel armament against resistant bacterial strains.

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