Investigating Antimicrobial Peptide-Membrane Interactions Using Fast Photochemical Oxidation of Peptides in Nanodiscs

23 August 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an important part of the innate immune system and demonstrate promising applications in the fight against antibiotic resistant infections due to their unique mechanism of targeting bacterial membranes. However, it is challenging to study the interactions of these peptides within lipid bilayers, making it difficult to understand their mechanisms of toxicity and selectivity. Here, we used fast photochemical oxidation of peptides, an irreversible footprinting technique that labels solvent accessible residues, and native charge detection-mass spectrometry to study AMP-lipid interactions with different lipid bilayer nanodiscs. We observed differences in the oxidation of two peptides, indolicidin and LL-37, in three distinct lipid environments, which reveals their affinity for lipid bilayers. Our findings suggest that indolicidin interacts with lipid head groups via a simple charge-driven mechanism, but LL-37 is more specific for E. coli nanodiscs. These results provide complementary information on the potential modes of action and lipid selectivity of AMPs.


Antimicrobial Peptides
Fast photochemical oxidation of proteins
Native Mass Spectrometry
Charge Detection-Mass Spectrometry
Lipid Bilayers


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