Solution structure of linear battacin lipopeptides – the effect of lengthening fatty acid chain†
In recent years, lipopeptides have received attention for their enhanced antimicrobial activity, especially against multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens. We have previously reported that the bacterial soil extracted, novel cyclic lipopeptide, battacin, and its synthetic analogues have enhanced antimicrobial activity against various Gram negative, Gram positive and fungal pathogens. In particular, the modification of the hydrophobic fatty acid chain and molecular structure has improved its activity. We have used small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and circular dichroism (CD) to characterise the low resolution structure of battacin lipopeptides containing covalently bonded fatty acid chains and the one without it. In the absence of fatty acids or with short fatty acid chain, the peptides adopted an extended random coil structure that is best described barbell-like shape, while fatty acids that are sufficiently long induced an aggregation into a ∼4.0 nm diameter core shell sphere. While the kinked structure found within this barbell shape may have a role in antimicrobial activities, the self-assembly of the battacin analogue with the longest fatty acid chain may have a correlation to the declined antibacterial activities.