Why can antimicrobial peptides induce hemolysis?


Why can antimicrobial peptides induce hemolysis?


The process in which the red blood cells get ruptured or damaged is called hemolysis. It is caused by various medical conditions, including bacterial, parasitic, and autoimmune disorders. The result of hemolysis is extreme destruction of blood cells which can be lethal.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Antimicrobial peptides induce hemolysis:

Antimicrobial peptides with higher hydrophobicities will penetrate deeper into the hydrophobic core of the red blood cell membrane, causing stronger hemolysis by forming pores or channels. Increasing peptide hydrophobicity to a certain extent helps peptide molecules reach the interface from an aqueous environment.

Antimicrobial peptides like A12L/A20L/A23L caused severe hemolysis against human red blood cells. The hydrophobicity of the bilayer causes the rapid dissociation of dimers to monomers and entry into the bilayer to form channels/pores.

In addition, the higher content of zwitterionic phospholipids and a large amount of cholesterol in eukaryotic cell membranes compared to the contents of bacterial membranes may also supply a more hydrophobic environment, which would promote dimer-to-monomer dissociation and enhance activity.

The increasing hydrophobicity of helical antimicrobial peptides resulted in stronger hemolysis in erythrocytes. There is a threshold hydrophobicity at which optimal antimicrobial activity can be obtained; means decreasing peptide hydrophobicity reduces antimicrobial activity.

Learn more about this topic:

What Is Hemolysis? - Definition, Causes & Symptoms


Chapter 7 / Lesson 27

Learn about Hemolysis and what causes Hemolysis. Know the mechanisms of Hemolysis. Read the symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment of Hemolysis.

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