Latest paper now on – line

The latest paper is now available on line via Biochemistry. Published by the American Chemical Society, we report a potentially novel bacterial resistance mechanism for the antimicrobial peptide Maximin H5 from Bombina maxima. 

Host defense peptides show great potential for development as new antimicrobial agents however, a small number of resistance mechanisms are now being identified.  In this case the peptide bound anionic and zwitterionic membranes with low affinity whilst showing a strong ability to lyse (>55%) and penetrate (π > 6.0 mN m–1) these membranes. However, the peptide bound Escherichia coli and 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DMPE) membranes with higher affinity and showed a very low ability for bilayer lysis (<8%) and partitioning (π > 1.0 mN m–1). Increasing levels of membrane DMPE correlated with enhanced binding by the peptide (R2 = 0.96) but inversely correlated with its lytic ability (R2 = 0.98). Taken with molecular dynamic simulations, these results suggest that maximin H5  forms multiple hydrogen bonds with phosphate and ammonium groups within PE head-groups, which in concert with charge–charge interactions anchor the peptide to the surface of E. coli membranes, inhibiting its membranolytic action.

Dennison et al  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bi400719j

bi-2013-00719j_0006

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Undergraduate Research Conference, Westminster

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Undergraduate students from 10 universities participated in an event, hosted by UCLan, in which they displayed their undergraduate research at Parliament. The exhibition was inspired by the US National Conference of Undergraduate Research in which American students compete to present their work to the House of Representatives and the Senate in an event called Posters on the Hill. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet the students and staff that had been involved with these projects and really emphasised the importance of research-informed teaching. Further thoughts are available on my Huffington post pages

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dave-pheonix/the-importance-of-research-informed-teaching_b_2524574.html

Professor Zhirong Zhang visits UCLan

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Zhirong Zhang is a Distinguished Professor and Dean of the West China School of Pharmacy, Sichuan University. He is Director of the state funded key laboratory for drug targeting and began working with us on drug delivery systems in 2010. As well as a tour of our laboratory we discussed the potential of peptide amphiphiles for drug targeting and outlined a new project in this area to start this summer. We also heard that one of our other collaborators, Xun Sun, has now been made a full professor and send her our congratulations. I look forward to meeting them in April when I will visit his laboratory in Sichuan.