Simultaneous Analysis of Secondary Structure and Light Scattering from Circular Dichroism Titrations: Application to Vectofusin-1

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 22;6:39450. doi: 10.1038/srep39450.


Circular Dichroism data are often decomposed into their constituent spectra to quantify the secondary structure of peptides or proteins but the estimation of the secondary structure content fails when light scattering leads to spectral distortion. If peptide-induced liposome self-association occurs, subtracting control curves cannot correct for this. We show that if the cause of the light scattering is independent from the peptide structural changes, the CD spectra can be corrected using principal component analysis (PCA). The light scattering itself is analysed and found to be in good agreement with backscattering experiments. This method therefore allows to simultaneously follow structural changes related to peptide-liposome binding as well as peptide induced liposome self-association. We apply this method to study the structural changes and liposome binding of vectofusin-1, a transduction enhancing peptide used in lentivirus based gene therapy. Vectofusin-1 binds to POPC/POPS liposomes, causing a reversal of the negative liposome charge at high peptide concentrations. When the peptide charges exactly neutralise the lipid charges on both leaflets reversible liposome self-association occurs. These results are in good agreement with biological observations and provide further insight into the conditions required for efficent transduction enhancement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't