Allosteric regulation plays an important role in many biological processes, such as signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, and metabolism. Allostery is rooted in the fundamental physical properties of macromolecular systems, but its underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood.
Defensins are small (3-5 kDa) cysteine-rich cationic proteins found in both vertebrates and invertebrates constituting the front line of host innate immunity. Despite intensive research, bactericidal and cytotoxic mechanisms of defensins are still largely unknown. Moreover, we recently demonstrated that small peptides derived from defensins are even more potent bactericidal agents with less toxicity toward host cells. In this paper, structures of three C-terminal (R36-K45) analogues of human beta-defensin-3 were studied by 1H NMR spectroscopy and extensive molecular dynamics simulations.
he purpose of this study was to examine the effects of structural parameters of peptides on their oxidation by DMSO, including location of cysteine, effect of adjunct group participation, molecular hydrophobicity, steric hindrance or the accessibility of thiol group and peptide conformation, on oxidation rates, dimer formation and associated side products.
A series of engineered linear analogues [coded as F6, W6, Y6, A6, S6 and C(Acm)6] were modeled, designed, synthesized and structurally characterized by mass spectra, circular dichroism, hydrophobicity analysis and molecular modeling. We have screened antimicrobial activity, hemolysis to rabbit erythrocytes, and cytotoxicity to human conjunctival epithelial cells. No significant hemolytic effect was observed for hBD3 or from five of the six analogues [F6, Y6, A6, S6 and C(Acm)6] over the range of 3-100 microg mL(-1).