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See detailStructural Polymorphism Of Two Cpp: An Important Parameter Of Activity
Deshayes, S.; Decaffmeyer, Marc ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2008), 1778(5), 1197-205

Despite numerous investigations, the important structural features of Cell Penetrating Peptides (CPPs) remain unclear as demonstrated by the difficulties encountered in designing new molecules. In this ... [more ▼]

Despite numerous investigations, the important structural features of Cell Penetrating Peptides (CPPs) remain unclear as demonstrated by the difficulties encountered in designing new molecules. In this study, we focused our interest on Penetratin and Transportan and several of their variants. Penetratin W48F and Penetratin W48F/W56F exhibit a reduced and a complete lack of cellular uptake, respectively; TP07 and TP10 present a similar cellular uptake as Transportan and TP08, TP13 and TP15 display no or weak internalization capacity. We applied the algorithmic method named PepLook to analyze the peptide polymorphism. The study reveals common conformational characteristics for the CPPs and their permeable variants: they all are polymorphic. Negative, non permeable, mutants share the opposite feature since they are monomorphic. Finally, we support the hypothesis that structural polymorphism may be crucial since it provides peptides with the possibility of adapting their conformation to medium hydrophobicity and or to partner diversity. [less ▲]

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See detailInteractions Of Ciprofloxacin With Dppc And Dppg: Fluorescence Anisotropy, Atr-Ftir And P-31 Nmr Spectroscopies And Conformational Analysis
Bensikaddour, H.; Snoussi, K.; Lins, Laurence ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2008), 1778(11), 2535-43

The interactions between a drug and lipids may be critical for the pharmacological activity. We previously showed that the ability of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, ciprofloxacin, to induce disorder and ... [more ▼]

The interactions between a drug and lipids may be critical for the pharmacological activity. We previously showed that the ability of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, ciprofloxacin, to induce disorder and modify the orientation of the acyl chains is related to its propensity to be expelled from a monolayer upon compression [1]. Here, we compared the binding of ciprofloxacin on DPPC and DPPG liposomes (or mixtures of phospholipids [DOPC:DPPC], and [DOPC:DPPG]) using quasi-elastic light scattering and steady-state fluorescence anisotropy. We also investigated ciprofloxacin effects on the transition temperature (T(m)) of lipids and on the mobility of phosphate head groups using Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared-Red Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and (31)P Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) respectively. In the presence of ciprofloxacin we observed a dose-dependent increase of the size of the DPPG liposomes whereas no effect was evidenced for DPPC liposomes. The binding constants K(app) were in the order of 10(5) M(-1) and the affinity appeared dependent on the negative charge of liposomes: DPPG>DOPC:DPPG (1:1; M:M)>DPPC>DOPC:DPPC (1:1; M:M). As compared to the control samples, the chemical shift anisotropy (Deltasigma) values determined by (31)P NMR showed an increase of 5 and 9 ppm for DPPC:CIP (1:1; M:M) and DPPG:CIP (1:1; M:M) respectively. ATR-FTIR experiments showed that ciprofloxacin had no effect on the T(m) of DPPC but increased the order of the acyl chains both below and above this temperature. In contrast, with DPPG, ciprofloxacin induced a marked broadening effect on the transition with a decrease of the acyl chain order below its T(m) and an increase above this temperature. Altogether with the results from the conformational analysis, these data demonstrated that the interactions of ciprofloxacin with lipids depend markedly on the nature of their phosphate head groups and that ciprofloxacin interacts preferentially with anionic lipid compounds, like phosphatidylglycerol, present at a high content in these membranes. [less ▲]

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See detailDecrease Of Elastic Moduli Of Dopc Bilayers Induced By A Macrolide Antibiotic, Azithromycin
Fa, N.; Lins, Laurence ULg; Courtoy, Pj. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2007), 1768(7), 1830-8

The elastic properties of membrane bilayers are key parameters that control its deformation and can be affected by pharmacological agents. Our previous atomic force microscopy studies revealed that the ... [more ▼]

The elastic properties of membrane bilayers are key parameters that control its deformation and can be affected by pharmacological agents. Our previous atomic force microscopy studies revealed that the macrolide antibiotic, azithromycin, leads to erosion of DPPC domains in a fluid DOPC matrix [A. Berquand, M. P. Mingeot-Leclercq, Y. F. Dufrene, Real-time imaging of drug-membrane interactions by atomic force microscopy, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1664 (2004) 198-205.]. Since this observation could be due to an effect on DOPC cohesion, we investigated the effect of azithromycin on elastic properties of DOPC giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). Microcinematographic and morphometric analyses revealed that azithromycin addition enhanced lipid membranes fluctuations, leading to eventual disruption of the largest GUVs. These effects were related to change of elastic moduli of DOPC, quantified by the micropipette aspiration technique. Azithromycin decreased both the bending modulus (k(c), from 23.1+/-3.5 to 10.6+/-4.5 k(B)T) and the apparent area compressibility modulus (K(app), from 176+/-35 to 113+/-25 mN/m). These data suggested that insertion of azithromycin into the DOPC bilayer reduced the requirement level of both the energy for thermal fluctuations and the stress to stretch the bilayer. Computer modeling of azithromycin interaction with DOPC bilayer, based on minimal energy, independently predicted that azithromycin (i) inserts at the interface of phospholipid bilayers, (ii) decreases the energy of interaction between DOPC molecules, and (iii) increases the mean surface occupied by each phospholipid molecule. We conclude that azithromycin inserts into the DOPC lipid bilayer, so as to decrease its cohesion and to facilitate the merging of DPPC into the DOPC fluid matrix, as observed by atomic force microscopy. These investigations, based on three complementary approaches, provide the first biophysical evidence for the ability of an amphiphilic antibiotic to alter lipid elastic moduli. This may be an important determinant for drug: lipid interactions and cellular pharmacology. [less ▲]

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See detailRational Design Of Complementary Peptides To The Beta Amyloid 29-42 Fusion Peptide: An Application Of Pepdesign
Decaffmeyer, Marc; Lins, Laurence ULg; Charloteaux, Benoît ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2006), 1758(3), 320-7

Peptides in solution currently exist under several conformations; an equilibrium which varies with solvent polarity. Despite or because of this structure versatility, peptides can be selective biological ... [more ▼]

Peptides in solution currently exist under several conformations; an equilibrium which varies with solvent polarity. Despite or because of this structure versatility, peptides can be selective biological tools: they can adapt to a target, vary conformation with solvents and so on. These capacities are crucial for cargo carriers. One promising way of using peptides in biotechnologies is to decipher their medium-sequence-structure-function relationships and one approach is molecular modelling. Only few "in silico" methods of peptide design are described in the literature. Most are used in support of experimental screening of peptide libraries. However, the way they are made does not teach us much for future researches. In this paper, we describe an "in silico" method (PepDesign) which starts by analysing the native interaction of a peptide with a target molecule in order to define which points are important. From there, a modelling protocol for the design of 'better' peptides is set. The PepDesign procedure calculates new peptides fulfilling the hypothesis, tests the conformational space of these peptides in interaction with the target by angular dynamics and goes up to the selection of the best peptide based on the analysis of complex structure properties. Experimental biological assays are finally used to test the selected peptides, hence to validate the approach. Applications of PepDesign are wide because the procedure will remain similar irrespective of the target which can be a protein, a drug or a nucleic acid. In this paper, we describe the design of peptides which binds to the fusogenic helical form of the C-terminal domain of the Abeta peptide (Abeta29-42). [less ▲]

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See detailPiracetam Inhibits The Lipid-Destabilising Effect Of The Amyloid Peptide A Beta C-Terminal Fragment
Mingeot-Leclercq, Mp.; Lins, Laurence ULg; Bensliman, M. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2003), 1609(1), 28-38

Amyloid peptide (Abeta) is a 40/42-residue proteolytic fragment of a precursor protein (APP), implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. The hypothesis that interactions between Abeta ... [more ▼]

Amyloid peptide (Abeta) is a 40/42-residue proteolytic fragment of a precursor protein (APP), implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. The hypothesis that interactions between Abeta aggregates and neuronal membranes play an important role in toxicity has gained some acceptance. Previously, we showed that the C-terminal domain (e.g. amino acids 29-42) of Abeta induces membrane permeabilisation and fusion, an effect which is related to the appearance of non-bilayer structures. Conformational studies showed that this peptide has properties similar to those of the fusion peptide of viral proteins i.e. a tilted penetration into membranes. Since piracetam interacts with lipids and has beneficial effects on several symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, we investigated in model membranes the ability of piracetam to hinder the destabilising effect of the Abeta 29-42 peptide. Using fluorescence studies and 31P and 2H NMR spectroscopy, we have shown that piracetam was able to significantly decrease the fusogenic and destabilising effect of Abeta 29-42, in a concentration-dependent manner. While the peptide induced lipid disorganisation and subsequent negative curvature at the membrane-water interface, the conformational analysis showed that piracetam, when preincubated with lipids, coats the phospholipid headgroups. Calculations suggest that this prevents appearance of the peptide-induced curvature. In addition, insertion of molecules with an inverted cone shape, like piracetam, into the outer membrane leaflet should make the formation of such structures energetically less favourable and therefore decrease the likelihood of membrane fusion. [less ▲]

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See detailImaging Mixed Lipid Monolayers By Dynamic Atomic Force Microscopy
Deleu, Magali ULg; Nott, Katherine ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2001), 1513(1),

Phase imaging with tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) and force modulation microscopy were used to probe the mechanical properties of phase-separated lipid monolayers made of a mixture (0.25:0.75 ... [more ▼]

Phase imaging with tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) and force modulation microscopy were used to probe the mechanical properties of phase-separated lipid monolayers made of a mixture (0.25:0.75) of the surface-active lipopeptide surfactin and of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC). The π–A isotherms and the result of a molecular modeling study revealed a loose, 2-D liquid-like organization for the surfactin molecules and a closely packed, 2-D solid-like organization for DPPC molecules. This difference in molecular organization was responsible for a significant contrast in height, tapping mode phase and force modulation amplitude images. Phase imaging at light tapping, i.e., with a ratio of the set-point tapping amplitude with respect to the free amplitude Asp/A0≈0.9, showed larger phase shifts on the solid-like DPPC domains attributed to larger Young’s modulus. However, contrast inversion was observed for Asp/A0<0.7, suggesting that at moderate and hard tapping the image contrast was dominated by the probe–sample contact area. Surprisingly, force modulation amplitude images showed larger stiffness for the liquid-like surfactin domains, suggesting that the contrast was dominated by contact area effects rather than by Young’s modulus. These data emphasize the complex nature of the contrast mechanisms of dynamic AFM images recorded on mixed lipid monolayers. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Optimisation Of The Helix/Helix Interaction Of A Transmembrane Dimer Is Improved By The Impala Restraint Field
Ducarme, P.; Thomas, Annick ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2000), 1509(1-2), 148-54

A continuous membrane model (IMPALA) was previously developed to predict how hydrophobic spans of proteins insert in membranes (Mol. Mod. 2 (1996) 27). Using that membrane model, we looked for the ... [more ▼]

A continuous membrane model (IMPALA) was previously developed to predict how hydrophobic spans of proteins insert in membranes (Mol. Mod. 2 (1996) 27). Using that membrane model, we looked for the interactions between several hydrophobic spans. We used the glycophorin A dimer as an archetype of polytopic protein to validate the approach. We find that the native complex do not dislocate when it is submitted to a 10(5) steps optimisation whereas separated spans converge back to a native-like complex in the same conditions. We also observe that IMPALA restraints are not strictly mandatory but do increase the efficiency of the procedure. [less ▲]

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See detailDeletion Analogues Of Transportan
Soomets, U.; Lindgren, M.; Gallet, X. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (2000), 1467(1), 165-76

Several shorter analogues of the cell penetrating peptide, transportan, have been synthesized in order to define the regions of the sequence, which are responsible for the membrane translocation property ... [more ▼]

Several shorter analogues of the cell penetrating peptide, transportan, have been synthesized in order to define the regions of the sequence, which are responsible for the membrane translocation property of the peptide. Penetration of the peptides into Bowes melanoma cells and the influence on GTPase activity in Rin m5F cellular membranes have been tested. The experimental data on cell penetration have been compared with molecular modeling of insertion of peptides into biological membranes. Omission of six amino acids from the N-terminus did not significantly impair the cell penetration of the peptide while deletions at the C-terminus or in the middle of the transportan sequence decreased or abolished the cellular uptake. Most transportan analogues exert an inhibitory effect on GTPase activity. Molecular modeling shows that insertion of the transportan analogues into the membrane differs for different peptides. Probably the length of the peptide as well as the location of aromatic and positively charged residues have major impact on the orientation of peptides in the membranes and thereby influence the cellular penetration. In summary, we have designed and characterized several novel short transportan analogues with similar cellular translocation properties to the parent peptide, but with reduced undesired cellular activity. [less ▲]

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See detailComputational Study Of Nisin Interaction With Model Membrane
Lins, Laurence ULg; Ducarme, P.; Breukink, E. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (1999), 1420(1-2), 111-20

Nisin is a 34-residue lantibiotic widely used as food preservative. Its mode of action on the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane is unclear. It should form ion channels but a molecular description of the ... [more ▼]

Nisin is a 34-residue lantibiotic widely used as food preservative. Its mode of action on the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane is unclear. It should form ion channels but a molecular description of the interaction between nisin and phospholipids is lacking. The interactions between nisin and a membrane and the influence of phospholipids are here analysed by molecular modelling. The NMR structures of nisin in a micellar environment were previously determined (Van den Hooven et al., Eur. J. Biochem. 235 (1996) 382-393) Those structures were used to start with. They were refined by running a Monte Carlo procedure at a model lipid/water interface. It was shown that nisin is adsorbing onto the interface, with its N-terminal moiety more deeply inserted in lipids than the C-end, indicating distinct hydrophobic properties of the N- and C-domains. Therefore, we suggest that the N-terminal part is implied in the insertion of nisin in lipids, while the C-terminal moiety could be involved in the initial interaction with the membrane surface. Modelling the interaction of nisin with different neutral or anionic phospholipids shows that it disturbs the lipid organisation. The disturbance is maximal with phosphatidylglycerol. In this system, nisin curves the surface of phosphatidylglycerol layer round suggesting it could induce micelle formation. This could be a preliminary step to pore formation. It suggests that phosphatidylglycerol could have a direct action on nisin insertion and on ion channel formation. Appearance of a curvature also agrees with the 'wedge model' proposed in the literature for the nisin pore formation. [less ▲]

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See detailA Novel Bacteriocin With A Ygngv Motif From Vegetable-Associated Enterococcus Mundtii: Full Characterization And Interaction With Target Organisms
Bennik, Mhj.; Vanloo, B.; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (1998), 1373(1), 47-58

A novel broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide produced by vegetable-associated Enterococcus mundtii was purified and characterized, and designated mundticin. To our knowledge, this is the first report on ... [more ▼]

A novel broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide produced by vegetable-associated Enterococcus mundtii was purified and characterized, and designated mundticin. To our knowledge, this is the first report on bacteriocin production by this organism. The elucidation of the full primary amino acid sequence of mundticin (KYYGNGVSCNKKGCSVDWGKAIGIIGNNSAANLATGGAAGWSK) revealed that this antimicrobial peptide belongs to the class IIa bacteriocins of lactic acid bacteria which share a highly conserved N-terminal 'YGNGV' motif. Data obtained by computer modelling indicated an oblique orientation of the alpha-helical regions of mundticin and homologous class IIa bacteriocins at a hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface, which may play a role in the destabilization of phospholipid bilayers. The average mass of mundticin, as determined by electron spray mass spectrometry, was found to be 4287.21+/-0.59 Da. With respect to its biological activity, mundticin was shown to inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium botulinum and a variety of lactic acid bacteria. Moreover, it was demonstrated to have a bactericidal effect on L. monocytogenes as a result of the dissipation of the membrane potential, and a loss of intracellular ATP in absence of ATP leakage. Its good solubility in water, and its stability over a wide pH and temperature range indicate the potential of this broad spectrum bacteriocin as a natural preservation agent for foods. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhanced Efficiency Of A Targeted Fusogenic Peptide
Decout, A.; Labeur, C.; Goethals, M. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Biomembranes (1998), 1372(1), 102-16

Membrane targeting was investigated as a potential strategy to increase the fusogenic activity of an isolated fusion peptide. This was achieved by coupling the fusogenic carboxy-terminal part of the beta ... [more ▼]

Membrane targeting was investigated as a potential strategy to increase the fusogenic activity of an isolated fusion peptide. This was achieved by coupling the fusogenic carboxy-terminal part of the beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta, amino acids 29-40), involved in Alzheimer's disease, to a positively charged peptide (PIP2-binding peptide, PBP) interacting specifically with a naturally occurring negatively charged phospholipid, phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Peptide-induced vesicle fusion was spectroscopically evidenced by: (i) mixing of membrane lipids, (ii) mixing of aqueous vesicular contents, and (iii) an irreversible increase in vesicle size, at concentrations five to six times lower than the Abeta(29-40) peptide. In contrast, at these concentrations the PBP-Abeta(29-40) peptide did not display any significant activity on neutral vesicles, indicating that negatively charged phospholipids included as targets in the membranes, are required to compensate for the lower hydrophobicity of this peptide. When the alpha-helical structure of the chimeric peptide was induced by dissolving it in trifluoroethanol, an increase of the fusogenic potential of the peptide was observed, supporting the hypothesis that the alpha-helical conformation of the peptide is crucial to trigger the lipid-peptide interaction. The specificity of the interaction between PIP2 and the PBP moiety, was shown by the less efficient targeting of the chimeric peptide to membranes charged with phosphatidylserine. These data thus demonstrate that the specific properties of both the Abeta(29-40) and the PBP peptide are conserved in the chimeric peptide, and that a synergetic effect is reached through chemical linkage of these two fragments. [less ▲]

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