Magainin 2 belongs to the family of peptides, which interacts with the lipid membranes. The present work deals with the effect of this peptide on the mechanical properties of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphocholine Giant Unilamellar Vesicle, characterized by the bending stiffness modulus. The bending elastic modulus is measured by Vesicle Fluctuation Analysis at biologically relevant pH and physiological buffer conditions and shows a dramatic decrease with increasing peptide concentration. The observed bilayer softening is interpreted in terms of a continuum model describing perturbations on the membrane organization. Our analysis suggests that the adsorbed peptides give rise to considerable local curvature disruptions of the membrane. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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