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Deuterium and phosphorus NMR methods have been used to study the binding of polymyxin B to the surface of bilayers containing lipids that were deuterated at specific positions in the polar head-group region. The binding of polymyxin B to acidic dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG) membranes induces only small structural distortions of the glycerol head group. The deuterium spin-lattice relaxation times for the different carbon-deuterium bonds in the head group of the same phospholipid are greatly reduced on binding of polymyxin B, indicating a restriction of the motional rate of the glycerol head group. Only very weak interactions were detected between polymyxin B and bilayers of zwitterionic dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC). In mixed bilayers of the two phospholipid types, in which either of the two phospholipids was deuterated, the presence of polymyxin B caused a lateral phase separation into DMPG-enriched phospholipid-peptide clusters and a DMPG-depleted phase. Complete phase separation did not occur: peptide-containing complexes with charged phosphatidylglycerol contained substantial amounts of zwitterionic phosphatidylcholine. Exchange of both phospholipid types between complexes and the bulk lipid matrix was shown to be fast on the NMR time scale, with a lifetime for phospholipid-peptide association of less than 1 ms.


Journal article



Publication Date





7906 - 7910


Kinetics, Lipid Bilayers, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Biological, Polymyxin B, Polymyxins, Structure-Activity Relationship, Thermodynamics, Water