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Imaging interactions of cationic antimicrobial peptides with model lipid monolayers using X-ray spectromicroscopy


The interaction of antimicrobial peptide anoplin with 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)] lipid monolayers was imaged with atomic force microscopy, scanning transmission X-ray microscopy, and X-ray photoemission electron microscopy. X-ray absorption spectromicroscopy of the surface revealed the domains of the phase-segregated surface to be composed of 98(±5)% lipid while the matrix consisted of a ~50:50 lipid-peptide mixture. We show X-ray spectromicroscopy to be a valuable quantitative tool for label-free imaging of lipid monolayers with antimicrobial peptides at a lateral spatial resolution below 80 nm.

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This research is supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Early Researcher Award (ERA), Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). X-ray microscopy was carried out using the polymer STXM and magnetic X-PEEM at the ALS, which is supported by the US DoE under contract DE-AC03-76SF00098. We thank David Kilcoyne, Tolek Tyliszczak, and Andrew Doran for their diligence and expertise in keeping the beamlines and microscopes in top condition.

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Correspondence to Adam P. Hitchcock.

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Leung, B.O., Hitchcock, A.P., Won, A. et al. Imaging interactions of cationic antimicrobial peptides with model lipid monolayers using X-ray spectromicroscopy. Eur Biophys J 40, 805–810 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00249-011-0690-7

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  • Lipid
  • Membrane
  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Anoplin
  • X-ray microscopy
  • X-PEEM
  • STXM