Investigations of antimicrobial peptides in planar film systems Academic Article uri icon


  • Planar systems – monolayers and films – constitute a useful platform for studying membrane-active peptides. Here, we summarize varied approaches for studying peptide organization and peptide–lipid interactions at the air/water interface, and focus on three representative antimicrobial membrane-associated peptides—alamethicin, gramicidin, and valinomycin. Experimental data, specifically surface pressure/area isotherms and Brewster angle microscopy images, provided information on peptide association and the effects of the lipid monolayers on peptide surface organization. In general, film analysis emphasized the effects of lipid layers in promoting peptide association and aggregation at the air/water interface. Importantly, the data demonstrated that in many cases peptide domains are phase-separated within the phospholipid monolayers, suggesting that this behavior contributes to the biological actions of membrane-active antimicrobial peptides.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006