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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Sep;86(17):6597-601.

Magainins and the disruption of membrane-linked free-energy transduction.

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1
Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Abstract

Magainins, a family of positively charged peptides, are partly if not wholly responsible for antimicrobial activity in skin extracts of Xenopus laevis. We report here that members of the magainin family--i.e., the 21-amino acid peptide PGLa and the 23-amino acid peptide magainin 2 amide (PGSa)--dissipate the electric potential across various energy-transducing membranes and thus uncouple respiration from other free-energy-requiring processes. We propose that this is a likely mechanism for the antimicrobial effects of these compounds.

PMID:
2671997
PMCID:
PMC297891
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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