Quantitative interactions between cryptdin-4 amino terminal variants and membranes Academic Article uri icon


  • Paneth cells secrete alpha-defensins into the lumen from the base of small intestinal crypts, and cryptdin-4 (Crp4) is the most potent mouse alpha-defensin in vitro. Purified recombinant Crp4 and Crp4 variants with (des-Gly)-, (Gly1Val)-, (Gly1Asp)-, and (Gly1Arg)-substitutions were all bactericidal with Crp4 and (Gly1Arg)-Crp4 being slightly more active than other variants. Bactericidal activities correlated directly with permeabilization of live Escherichia coli, with equilibrium binding to E. coli membrane phospholipid bilayers and vesicles, and with induced graded fluorophore leakage from phospholipid vesicles. The Crp4 peptide N-terminus affects bactericidal activity modestly, apparently by influencing peptide binding to phospholipid bilayers and subsequent permeabilization of target cell membranes.

publication date

  • January 1, 2003