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Investigation of the Impact of Lipid Acyl Chain Saturation on Fusion Peptide Interactions with Lipid Bilayers...

by William T Heller, Piotr A Zolnierczuk
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121 to 138

The interaction of many peptides with lipid bilayer membranes strongly depends on the lipid composition. Here, a study of the impact of unsaturated lipid acyl chains on the interaction of a derivative of the HIV-1 fusion peptide with lipid bilayer vesicles is presented. Lipid bilayer vesicles composed of mixtures of lipids with two saturated acyl chains and lipids and one saturated and one unsaturated acyl chain, but identical head groups, were studied. The dependence of the peptide conformation on the unsaturated lipid content was probed by circular dichroism spectroscopy, while the impact of the peptide on the bilayer structure was determined by small-angle neutron scattering. The impact of the peptide on the lipid bilayer vesicle dynamics was investigated using neutron spin echo spectroscopy. Molecular dynamics simulations were used to characterize the behavior of the systems studied to determine if there were clear differences in their physical properties. The results reveal that the peptide–bilayer interaction is not a simple function of the unsaturated lipid acyl chain content of the bilayer. Instead, the peptide behavior is more consistent with that seen for the bilayer containing only unsaturated lipids, which is supported by lipid-specific interactions revealed by the simulations.