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Molecules 2013, 18(9), 11311-11326;

Revealing the Properties of Plant Defensins through Dynamics

Centro Nacional de Ressonância Magnética Nuclear de Macromoléculas, Instituto de Bioquímica Médica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-902, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2013 / Revised: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 13 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMR of Proteins and Small Biomolecules)
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Defensins are potent, ancient natural antibiotics that are present in organisms ranging from lower organisms to humans. Although the structures of several defensins have been well characterized, the dynamics of only a few have been studied. This review discusses the diverse dynamics of two plant defensins for which the structure and dynamics have been characterized, both in the free state and in the presence of target membranes. Multiple motions are observed in loops and in secondary structure elements and may be related to twisting or breathing of the α-helix and β-sheet. This complex behavior is altered in the presence of an interface and is responsive to the presence of the putative target. The stages of membrane recognition and disruption can be mapped over a large time scale range, demonstrating that defensins in solution exist as an ensemble of different conformations, a subset of which is selected upon membrane binding. Therefore, studies on the dynamics have revealed that defensins interact with membranes through a mechanism of conformational selection. View Full-Text
Keywords: defensins; dynamics; NMR; membrane recognition defensins; dynamics; NMR; membrane recognition

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Valente, A.P.; de Paula, V.S.; Almeida, F.C.L. Revealing the Properties of Plant Defensins through Dynamics. Molecules 2013, 18, 11311-11326.

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