Targeting specific membranes with an azide derivative of the pore-forming peptide ceratotoxin A.


Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Chemin des Verdiers 4, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland. Electronic address: [Email]


Pore-forming antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are attracting interest as cytolytic antibiotics and drug delivery agents with potential use for targeting cancer cells or multidrug-resistant pathogens. Ceratotoxin A (CtxA) is an insect-derived cytolytic AMP with 36 amino acids that is thought to protect the eggs of the medfly Ceratitis capitata against pathogens. Single channel recordings using planar lipid bilayers have shown that CtxA forms pores with well-defined conductance states resembling those of alamethicin; it also forms one of the largest pores among the group of ceratotoxins. In this work, we modified CtxA at its N-terminus with an azide group and investigated its pore-forming characteristics in planar lipid bilayer experiments. We demonstrate the possibility to target specific lipids by carrying out click reactions in-situ on lipid membranes that display a dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO) moiety on their head group. As a result of covalent linkage of the peptides to the bilayer, pore-formation occurs at 10-fold reduced peptide concentration and with a reduced dependence on the transmembrane voltage compared to unlinked CtxA-azide peptides or native CtxA peptides.


Alamethicin,Ceratotoxin A (CtxA),Click chemistry,Peptide,Planar lipid bilayer,Pore-forming antimicrobial peptide,

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