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Describing the Mechanism of Antimicrobial Peptide Action with the Interfacial Activity Model

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-10-15, 00:00 authored by William C. Wimley
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been studied for three decades, and yet a molecular understanding of their mechanism of action is still lacking. Here we summarize current knowledge for both synthetic vesicle experiments and microbe experiments, with a focus on comparisons between the two. Microbial experiments are done at peptide to lipid ratios that are at least 4 orders of magnitude higher than vesicle-based experiments. To close the gap between the two concentration regimes, we propose an “interfacial activity model”, which is based on an experimentally testable molecular image of AMP–membrane interactions. The interfacial activity model may be useful in driving engineering and design of novel AMPs.

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