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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010211

Peptide-Mediated Liposome Fusion: The Effect of Anchor Positioning

Supramolecular and Biomaterials Chemistry, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55, 2333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands
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Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Fusion)
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Abstract

A minimal model system for membrane fusion, comprising two complementary peptides dubbed “E” and “K” joined to a cholesterol anchor via a polyethyleneglycol spacer, has previously been developed in our group. This system promotes the fusion of large unilamellar vesicles and facilitates liposome-cell fusion both in vitro and in vivo. Whilst several aspects of the system have previously been investigated to provide an insight as to how fusion is facilitated, anchor positioning has not yet been considered. In this study, the effects of placing the anchor at either the N-terminus or in the center of the peptide are investigated using a combination of circular dichroism spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence assays. It was discovered that anchoring the “K” peptide in the center of the sequence had no effect on its structure, its ability to interact with membranes, or its ability to promote fusion, whereas anchoring the ‘E’ peptide in the middle of the sequence dramatically decreases fusion efficiency. We postulate that anchoring the ‘E’ peptide in the middle of the sequence disrupts its ability to form homodimers with peptides on the same membrane, leading to aggregation and content leakage. View Full-Text
Keywords: coiled coil; membrane fusion; cholesterol; membrane anchor; lipid coiled coil; membrane fusion; cholesterol; membrane anchor; lipid
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Crone, N.S.A.; Minnee, D.; Kros, A.; Boyle, A.L. Peptide-Mediated Liposome Fusion: The Effect of Anchor Positioning. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 211.

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