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Biochemistry. 1986 May 6;25(9):2605-12.

Mixtures of a series of homologous hydrophobic peptides with lipid bilayers: a simple model system for examining the protein-lipid interface.


The interactions of several members of a homologous series of peptides with the phospholipid bilayer have been examined by using fluorescence and deuterium NMR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and measurements of water-to-bilayer partition coefficients. 1,2-Dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) bilayers and tripeptides of the form Ala-X-Ala-O-tert-butyl are used as a model system to probe the influence of amino acid side-chain substitution on the insertion of peptides into membranes and the behavior of peptide/bilayer mixtures. Tripeptides with X = Gly, Ala, Phe, and Trp have been examined. All of the tripeptides are water soluble, and all partition into DMPC bilayer vesicles to some extent. The Gly-containing peptide is the least soluble and the Trp-containing peptide the most soluble in the bilayer. The extent of perturbation of the bilayer structure induced by the peptides parallels their bilayer solubility: the Gly and Ala peptides act as simple impurities while peptides containing bulky aromatic rings cause a phase separation. Changes in the fluorescence properties of the Trp analogue upon incorporation into the bilayer indicate that the Trp side chain is probably immersed in the hydrocarbon region of the bilayer. Peptides of this form should serve as easily modifiable model systems with which to examine details of how the bilayer environment affects peptide conformation, as well as how hydrophobic peptides affect the bilayer structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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