Peptide-lipid interactions can be investigated with spin-labelled lipid probes by using electron spin resonance (ESR) methods that have been developed for studying lipid-protein interactions with both integral and peripheral membrane proteins and also with surface-binding proteins that additionally penetrate the membrane. This approach has the advantage that a direct comparison can be made with the databank of ESR results from the various types of membrane protein. The appropriateness of the peptides as models for membrane proteins, or for their specific segments, can then be assessed. Further, differences in behaviour can be readily identified, as for example in the case of surface-active cytolytic or fusogenic peptides. Comparison with thermodynamic predictions for membrane insertion provides a useful adjunct to the spin-label method.

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