Physical Review Letters
Modulation of Antimicrobial Peptide Potency in Stressed Lipid Bilayers
It is shown that the tendency of an archetypal antimicrobial peptide to insert into and perforate a simple lipid bilayer is strongly modulated by tensile stress in the membrane. The results, obtained through molecular dynamics simulations, have been demonstrated with several lipid compositions and appear to be general, although quantitative details differ. The findings imply that the potency of antimicrobial peptides may not be a purely intrinsic chemical property and, instead, depends on the mechanical state of the target membrane.