Penetration of HIV-1 Tat47-57 into PC/PE Bilayers Assessed by MD Simulation and X-ray Scattering.
The interactions of the basic, cell-penetrating region (Y47GRKKRRQRRR57) of the HIV-1 Tat protein with dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC) bilayers were previously assessed by comparing experimental X-ray diffuse scattering with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. Here, we extend this investigation by evaluating the influence of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) lipids. Using experimental bilayer form factors derivedfrom X-ray diffuse scattering data as a guide, our simulations indicate that Tat peptides localize close to the carbonyl-glycerol group in the headgroup region of bilayers composed of either DOPC or DOPC:DOPE (1:1) lipid. Our results also suggest that Tat peptides may more frequently insert into the hydrophobic core of bilayers composed of PC:PE (1:1) lipids than into bilayers composed entirely of PC lipids. PE lipids may facilitate peptide translocation across a lipid bilayer by stabilizing intermediate states in which hydrated peptides span the bilayer.