• Antimicrobial peptide activity is anticorrelated with lipid a leaflet affinity

      Nelson, Nathaniel; Opene, Belita; Ernst, Robert K; Schwartz, Daniel K (Public Library of Science, 2020-11-30)
      The activity of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) has significant bacterial species bias, the mechanisms of which are not fully understood. We employed single-molecule tracking to measure the affinity of three different AMPs to hybrid supported bilayers composed of lipid A extracted from four different Gram negative bacteria and observed a strong empirical anticorrelation between the affinity of a particular AMP to a given lipid A layer and the activity of that AMP towards the bacterium from which that lipid A was extracted. This suggested that the species bias of AMP activity is directly related to AMP interactions with bacterial outer membranes, despite the fact that the mechanism of antimicrobial activity occurs at the inner membrane. The trend also suggested that the interactions between AMPs and the outer membrane lipid A (even in the absence of other components, such as lipopolysaccharides) capture effects that are relevant to the minimum inhibitory concentration.