TOAC spin-labeled peptides tailored for DNP-NMR studies in lipid membrane environments #DNPNMR

Published: Wednesday, 22 June 2022 - 10:00 -0400

Author: Thorsten Maly

Zhu, Shiying, Ehsan Kachooei, Jeffrey R. Harmer, Louise J. Brown, Frances Separovic, and Marc-Antoine Sani. “TOAC Spin-Labeled Peptides Tailored for DNP-NMR Studies in Lipid Membrane Environments.” Biophysical Journal 120, no. 20 (October 2021): 4501–11.

The benefit of combining in-cell solid-state dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) NMR and cryogenic temperatures is providing sufficient signal/noise and preservation of bacterial integrity via cryoprotection to enable in situ biophysical studies of antimicrobial peptides. The radical source required for DNP was delivered into cells by adding a nitroxide-tagged peptide based on the antimicrobial peptide maculatin 1.1 (Mac1). In this study, the structure, localization, and signal enhancement properties of a single (T-MacW) and double (T-T-MacW) TOAC (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-N-oxyl-4-amino-4-carboxylic acid) spinlabeled Mac1 analogs were determined within micelles or lipid vesicles. The solution NMR and circular dichroism results showed that the spin-labeled peptides adopted helical structures in contact with micelles. The peptides behaved as an isolated radical source in the presence of multilamellar vesicles, and the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) electron-electron distance for the doubly spin-labeled peptide was $1 nm. The strongest paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) was observed for the lipid NMR signals near the glycerol-carbonyl backbone and was stronger for the doubly spin-labeled peptide. Molecular dynamics simulation of the T-T-MacW radical source in phospholipid bilayers supported the EPR and PRE observations while providing further structural insights. Overall, the T-T-MacW peptide achieved better 13C and 15N signal NMR enhancements and 1H spin-lattice T1 relaxation than T-MacW.