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Characterization of the Aggregates Formed by Various Bacterial Lipopolysaccharides in Solution and upon Interaction with Antimicrobial Peptides

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journal contribution
posted on 20.01.2015, 00:00 by Gianluca Bello, Jonny Eriksson, Ann Terry, Katarina Edwards, M. Jayne Lawrence, David Barlow, Richard D. Harvey
The biophysical analysis of the aggregates formed by different chemotypes of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) before and after challenge by two different antiendotoxic antimicrobial peptides (LL37 and bovine lactoferricin) was performed in order to determine their effect on the morphology of LPS aggregates. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryoTEM) were used to examine the structures formed by both smooth and rough LPS chemotypes and the effect of the peptides, by visualization of the aggregates and analysis of the scattering data by means of both mathematical approximations and defined models. The data showed that the structure of LPS determines the morphology of the aggregates and influences the binding activity of both peptides. The morphologies of the worm-like micellar aggregates formed by the smooth LPS were relatively unaltered by the presence of the peptides due to their pre-existing high degree of positive curvature being little affected by their association with either peptide. On the other hand, the aggregates formed by the rough LPS chemotypes showed marked morphological changes from lamellar structures to ordered micellar networks, induced by the increase in positive curvature engendered upon association with the peptides. The combined use of cryoTEM and SANS proved to be a very useful tool for studying the aggregation properties of LPS in solution at biologically relevant concentrations.