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Switchable Membrane Remodeling and Antifungal Defense by Metamorphic Chemokine XCL1.

ACS infectious diseases (2020-04-04)
Acacia F Dishman, Michelle W Lee, Jaime de Anda, Ernest Y Lee, Jie He, Anna R Huppler, Gerard C L Wong, Brian F Volkman
ABSTRACT

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a class of molecules which generally kill pathogens via preferential cell membrane disruption. Chemokines are a family of signaling proteins that direct immune cell migration and share a conserved α-β tertiary structure. Recently, it was found that a subset of chemokines can also function as AMPs, including CCL20, CXCL4, and XCL1. It is therefore surprising that machine learning based analysis predicts that CCL20 and CXCL4's α-helices are membrane disruptive, while XCL1's helix is not. XCL1, however, is the only chemokine known to be a metamorphic protein which can interconvert reversibly between two distinct native structures (a β-sheet dimer and the α-β chemokine structure). Here, we investigate XCL1's antimicrobial mechanism of action with a focus on the role of metamorphic folding. We demonstrate that XCL1 is a molecular "Swiss army knife" that can refold into different structures for distinct context-dependent functions: whereas the α-β chemokine structure controls cell migration by binding to G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), we find using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) that only the β-sheet and unfolded XCL1 structures can induce negative Gaussian curvature (NGC) in membranes, the type of curvature topologically required for membrane permeation. Moreover, the membrane remodeling activity of XCL1's β-sheet structure is strongly dependent on membrane composition: XCL1 selectively remodels bacterial model membranes but not mammalian model membranes. Interestingly, XCL1 also permeates fungal model membranes and exhibits anti-Candida activity in vitro, in contrast to the usual mode of antifungal defense which requires Th17 mediated cell-based responses. These observations suggest that metamorphic XCL1 is capable of a versatile multimodal form of antimicrobial defense.

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Avanti
18:1 PS (DOPS), 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine (sodium salt), chloroform