Interaction of melittin with membrane cholesterol: a fluorescence approach.


:We have monitored the organization and dynamics of the hemolytic peptide melittin in membranes containing cholesterol by utilizing the intrinsic fluorescence properties of its functionally important sole tryptophan residue and circular dichroism spectroscopy. The significance of this study is based on the fact that the natural target for melittin is the erythrocyte membrane, which contains high amounts of cholesterol. Our results show that the presence of cholesterol inhibits melittin-induced leakage of lipid vesicles and the extent of inhibition appears to be dependent on the concentration of membrane cholesterol. The presence of cholesterol is also shown to reduce binding of melittin to membranes. Our results show that fluorescence parameters such as intensity, emission maximum, and lifetime of membrane-bound melittin indicate a change in polarity in the immediate vicinity of the tryptophan residue probably due to increased water penetration in presence of cholesterol. This is supported by results from fluorescence quenching experiments using acrylamide as the quencher. Membrane penetration depth analysis by the parallax method shows that the melittin tryptophan is localized at a relatively shallow depth in membranes containing cholesterol. Analysis of energy transfer results using melittin tryptophan (donor) and dehydroergosterol (acceptor) indicates that dehydroergosterol is not randomly distributed and is preferentially localized around the tryptophan residue of membrane-bound melittin, even at the low concentrations used. Taken together, our results are relevant in understanding the interaction of melittin with membranes in general, and with cholesterol-containing membranes in particular, with possible relevance to its interaction with the erythrocyte membrane.


Biophys J


Biophysical journal


Raghuraman H,Chattopadhyay A




Has Abstract


2004-10-01 00:00:00














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