Langmuir, 2018, vol 34, 5, pp. 2171-2179
In the present work, we investigate the effect of two short phenylalanine-based peptides on lipid membranes. A simplified model membrane composed of lecithin vesicles was used to incorporate different amounts of the two amino acid sequences, the dimmer l,l-diphenylallanine (FF) and the trimmer cysteine-diphenylallanine (CFF). Spectroscopic and scattering techniques were applied to probe in detail the structural behavior of lipid membranes in the presence of the peptides. The experimental results demonstrate that both peptides are located mainly at the interface of the membrane interacting with phosphate groups modifying membrane thickness and flexibility. The multilamellar structure of the vesicles is preserved with inclusion of small amounts of FF, accompanied by changes in membrane thickness and elasticity. Finally, a multi- to unilamellar transition is observed as a result of peptide self-association into a crystalline structure onto the membrane interface.