In this work we employed UV resonance Raman spectroscopy with 229 nm excitation to study two tryptophan-containing antimicrobial peptides with a broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria: lactoferricin B (LfB, RRWQWRMKKLG) and pEM-2 (KKWRWWLKALAKK). UV resonance Raman spectra of both peptides are dominated by tryptophan bands. Raman spectra of LfB and pEM-2 in D2O and 2,2,2-trifluoro ethanol (TFE) have been measured and used to identify the hydrogen-bond strength marker bands W6 and W17. The tryptophan doublet, W7, at 1340 and 1360 cm-1 was used to detect an increase in the hydrophobicity of Trp environment in TFE. The spectra of LfB in complex with model cell membranes composed of zwitterionic dipalmitoylglycero-phosphocholine (DPPC) or anionic dipalmitoyglycero- phosphoglycerol (DPPG) lipid vesicles revealed a more hydrophobic Trp environment in DPPG, suggesting stronger interactions between the cationic peptide and anionic model cell membrane. Copyright

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Journal of Raman Spectroscopy
Department of Chemistry

Quan, B. (Bryan), & Ianoul, A.I. (2009). UV resonance Raman spectroscopy probes the localization of tryptophan-containing antimicrobial peptides in lipid vesicles. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 40(3), 260–263. doi:10.1002/jrs.2116