Antimicrobial Peptide Induced Electroporation of Lipid Bilayers using Molecular Dynamics

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Antimicrobial Peptide Induced Electroporation of Lipid Bilayers using Molecular Dynamics

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 7th October 2013
  • Speaker: Matthew Carr (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The number of antibiotic resistant infections reported worldwide has risen alarmingly in the past decade, posing a real threat to human health in the foreseeable future. [1] The pursuit of antimicrobial peptides as a possible treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections has long been a goal for many scientists and pharmaceutical companies. These are highly charged peptides that have evolved in most living organisms as a response to infection, and remarkably show very few resistance mechanisms in bacteria. They target the cell membrane of bacteria and permeabilise it, causing eventual cell death. Yet their exact mechanism still eludes us, and elucidation of such mechanisms may provide for more potent antimicrobial peptide design than currently available.

In this seminar, I will give an overview of the basic principles behind antimicrobial peptides and also look at the importance of membrane potentials in bacteria. [2] I will present our findings from Molecular Dynamics simulations that suggests a possible mechanism for permeabilising the membrane through electroporation effects [3] resulting from a high voltage membrane potential induced by antimicrobial peptides.

[1] Antimicrobial resistance surveillance annual report - European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 2010 [2] H. Strahl and L. Hamoen, PNAS 2010, vol. 107, no. 27 [3] J. Teissie, M. Golzio, M.P. Rols, BBA General Subjects, vol. 1724, issue 3, 2005

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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