Mode of action of antimicrobial proteins, pore-forming toxins and biologically active peptides (Hypothesis)
Keywords:antimicrobial peptides, pore-forming toxins, peptide hormones;, endocytosis, lipophorin, cholesterol, lipid rafts, channel formation, lectins
Antimicrobial peptides and pore-forming toxins are important effectors in innate immune defence
reactions. But their mode of action, comprising the insertion into cholesterol-containing membranes is not known. Here we explore the mechanical implications of pore-formation by extracellular protein
assemblies that drive cellular uptake reactions by leverage-mediated (LM) processes, where oligomeric adhesion molecules bent membrane-receptors around ‘hinge’-like lipophorin particles. The
interactions of antimicrobial peptides, pore-forming toxins and biologically active proteins with LMassemblies provide a new paradigm for the configurational specificity and sterical selectivity of
biologically active peptides.