, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 389-396
Date: 27 Sep 2008

Effects antifreeze peptides on the thermotropic properties of a model membrane

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In this paper, we report on the effect of short segments of type I antifreeze protein (AFP I) on the thermotropic properties of a model membrane. Two different types of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine model membranes were used, multilamellar vesicles and small unilamellar vesicles. The membrane properties were studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and fluorescence anisotropy. With the incorporation of AFP I and its short segments, the order of the model membrane increased both in the gel state and in the liquid crystalline state. The interaction of AFPs with the model membrane caused a shift in the phase transition to lower temperatures, which is accompanied by a broadening of the DSC thermogram. This preferential stabilization to a more ordered phase by the AFPs could be due to ordering the hydrophobic membrane core and separation into domains. Overall, this approach of employing short segments of AFP I simplifies the correlation between antifreeze protein characteristics and the effect of these parameters on the interaction mechanism of AFP with cell membranes. The success of this approach can lead to the identification of short peptides with high antifreeze activity.