Spectroscopic investigations of the binding mechanisms between antimicrobial peptides and membrane models of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae

Hanbo Chai, William E. Allen, Rickey P. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


CD spectroscopy was used to investigate the interactions of a series of synthetic AMPs with LPS isolated from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae, as well as with various phospholipids to better approximate the chemical composition of the membranes of these two strains of Gram-negative bacteria. This investigation was conducted in order to probe how the contributions of key physicochemical properties of an AMP vary in different regions of the membranes of these two bacteria. The conclusions from this study are as follows. (1) The binding interactions between the AMP and the membranes are defined by the complementarity of delocalization of positive charge density of the basic amino side chains (i.e., electrostatics), molecular flexibility of the peptide backbone, and overall hydrophobicity. (2) The binding interactions of these AMPs to LPS seem to be predominantly with the lipid A region of the LPS. (3) Incorporation of phospholipids into the LPS containing SUVs resulted in dramatic changes in the conformational equilibrium of the bound AMPs. (4) For the LPS-phospholipid models of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, delocalization of the side chain positive charge plays a major role in determining the number of conformers that contribute to the binding conformational equilibrium. This relationship was not observed for the models of the outer and inner membranes of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4210-4222
Number of pages13
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2014



  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Circular dichroism spectroscopy
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Membrane models
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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