James Pius - October 12, 2011
A novel approach to characterize in vivo antimicrobial peptide-lipid interactions
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are ubiquitous molecules that display antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, protozoa and various other pathogens. They are primarily short cationic amphipathic peptides that can directly destabilize membranes and also sometimes coordinate immune and inflammatory responses. The focus of my research is to investigate the functional mechanism of such AMPs using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). I have designed a procedure to incorporate labeled saturated chains into the membrane by creating a novel strain of E. coli. Using this strain we are able to characterize both qualitatively and quantitatively the effects of antimicrobial peptides on bacterial membranes.