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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 24, Number 10
BKCSDE 24(10)
October 20, 2003 

Structural and Functional Characterization of CRAMP-18 Derived from a Cathelicidin-Related Antimicrobial Peptide CRAMP
Kyongsoo Park, Song Yub Shin, Kyung-Soo Hahm, Yangmee Kim
Antimicrobial peptide, CRAMP, CRAMP-18, Phospholipid membranes, Antibacterial activity
CRAMP was identified from a cDNA clone derived from a mouse femoral marrow cells as a member of cathelicidin-derived antimicrobial peptide. Tertiary structure of CRAMP in TFE/H2O (1 : 1, v/v) solution has been determined by NMR spectroscopy previously and consists of two amphipathic α-helices from Leu4 to Lys10 and from Gly16 to Leu33. These two helices are connected by a flexible region from Gly11 to Gly16. Analysis of series of fragments composed of various portion of CRAMP revealed that an 18-residue fragment with the sequence from Gly16 to Leu33 (CRAMP-18) was found to retain antibacterial activity without cytotoxicity. The effects of two Phe residues at positions 14 and 15 of CRAMP-18 on structure, antibacterial activity, and interaction with lipid membranes were investigated by Phe14,15 → Ala substitution (CRAMP-18-A) in the present study. Substitution of Phe with Ala in CRAMP-18 caused a significant reduction on antibacterial and membrane-disrupting activities. Tertiary structures of CRAMP-18 in 50% TFE/H2O (1 : 1, v : v) solution shows amphipathic α-helix, from Glu2 to Leu18, while CRAMP-18-A has relatively short amphipathic α-helix from Leu4 to Ala15. These results suggest that the hydrophobic property of Phe14 and Phe15 in CRAMP-18 is essential for its antibacterial activity, α-helical structure, and interactions with phospholipid membranes.
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