Oriented samples: a tool for determining the membrane topology and the mechanism of action of cationic antimicrobial peptides by solid-state NMR
The interchain (13)C-(19)F dipolar coupling measured in a rotational-echo double-resonance (REDOR) experiment performed on mixtures of differently labeled KIAGKIA-KIAGKIA-KIAGKIA (K3) peptides (one specifically (13)C labeled, and the other specifically (19)F labeled) in multilamellar vesicles of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol (1:1) shows that K3 forms close-packed clusters, primarily dimers, in bilayers at a lipid/peptide molar ratio (L/P) of 20. Dipolar coupling to additional peptides is weaker than that within the dimers, consistent with aggregates of monomers and dimers. Analysis of the sideband dephasing rates indicates a preferred orientation between the peptide chains of the dimers. The combination of the distance and orientation information from REDOR is consistent with a parallel (N-N) dimer structure in which two K3 helices intersect at a cross-angle of approximately 20 degrees. Static (19)F NMR experiments performed on K3 in oriented lipid bilayers show that between L/P = 200 and L/P = 20, K3 chains change their absolute orientation with respect to the membrane normal. This result suggests that the K3 dimers detected by REDOR at L/P = 20 are not on the surface of the bilayer but are in a membrane pore.