Nitrogen-15 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, John-Wiley and Sons, New York
- G. C. Levy, R. L. Lichter
Alamethicin is a 20 amino acid antibiotic peptide produced by the soil fungus Trichoderma viride. The peptide inserts into bacterial membranes and self-associates to form ion channels, but the details of this process are unknown. Residue-specific acid- and base-catalyzed exchange data were obtained for 16 of 18 backbone amides of alamethicin dissolved in sodium dodecyl sulfate micelles using high-resolution 2-dimensional heteronuclear nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. To facilitate interpretation of the exchange data, we synthesized N-acetyl-alpha-aminoisobutyric acid-N'-methyl and N-acetyl-alanine-N'-methyl and measured the pD dependence of their hydrogen-deuterium exchange rates to determine the sequence-dependent inductive and steric effects of the alpha-aminoisobutyric acid residue. Intramolecular H-bonding in alamethicin was monitored through the exchange parameters kmin (minimum exchange rate) which indicate that the backbone is significantly more stable than the backbones of alanine-based helical peptides. Rapid exchange at Gly-11 suggests a highly local conformational flexibility in the middle of the peptide. Interactions with the detergent micelle were revealed by the exchange parameters pDmin (pD of minimum exchange) which suggest that the N-terminus of alamethicin interacts more strongly with the detergent micelle than does the C-terminus. A periodicity in pDmin difference data reveals that one surface of the helix interacts more strongly with the micelle. The surface consists of residues 1, 5, 9, 13, 16, and 20. The opposite face of the helix contains several polar residues (two glutamines and a glycine), suggesting that, on average, this face of the helix is directed toward the solvent. These results serve as a model for the interaction of the peptide with membranes containing anionic lipid. In combination with published molecular dynamics simulations [Gibbs et al. (1997) Biophys. J. 72, 2490-2495], the present results also offer insight into the mechanisms of hydrogen-deuterium exchange in helical peptides.