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Evidence for Phenylalanine Zipper-Mediated Dimerization in the X‑ray Crystal Structure of a Magainin 2 Analogue

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journal contribution
posted on 23.10.2013, 00:00 by Zvi Hayouka, David E. Mortenson, Dale F. Kreitler, Bernard Weisblum, Katrina T. Forest, Samuel H. Gellman
High-resolution structure elucidation has been challenging for the large group of host-defense peptides that form helices on or within membranes but do not manifest a strong folding propensity in aqueous solution. Here we report the crystal structure of an analogue of the widely studied host-defense peptide magainin 2. Magainin 2 (S8A, G13A, G18A) is a designed variant that displays enhanced antibacterial activity relative to the natural peptide. The crystal structure of magainin 2 (S8A, G13A, G18A), obtained for the racemic form, features a dimerization mode that has previously been proposed to play a role in the antibacterial activity of magainin 2 and related peptides.