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A peptide based on the N-terminal fusion domain of gp41 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and its tryptophan analog were synthesized to examine the secondary structure in the micellar environment. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), circular dichroism and electron paramagnetic resonance experiments indicated that the gp41 fusion peptide inserted into the micelle primarily as a helix (59%), with substantial beta-structure (26.7%). Deep penetration of the peptide into the apolar hydrocarbon core was supported by the results of fluorescence experiments in which the tryptophan analog exhibited a blue shift of about 30 nm in the presence of a sodium dodecyl sulfate micelle, in 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and in 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine vesicular solutions. The results of spin label-attenuate...
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