Interaction of branched chain polymeric polypeptides with phospholipid model membranes

I. B. Nagy, I. Haro, M. A. Alsina, F. Reig, F. Hudecz

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The surface properties at the air/water interface and the interaction of branched chain polymeric polypeptides with a general formula poly [Lys-(DL-Alam-Xi)], where X = Ø (AK), Ser (SAK), or Glu (EAK), with phospholipids were investigated. Polylysine derivatives with polycationic (SAK, AK) or amphoteric (EAK) were capable to spread and form stable monomolecular layers. The stability of monolayers at the air/water interface was dependent on the side-chain terminal amino acid residue of polymers and can be described by SAK > AK > EAK order. The area per amino acid residue values calculated from compression isotherms were in the same range as compared to those of linear poly-α-amino acids and proteins. Moreover, these polymers interact with phospholipid monomolecular layers composed of dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl choline (DPPC) or DPPC/PG (PG: phosphatidyl glycerol; 95/5, mol/ mol). Data obtained from compression isotherms of phospholipids spread on aqueous polymer solutions at different initial surface pressure indicated that insertion into lipid monolayers for SAK or AK is more pronounced than for EAK. The interaction between branched polypeptides and phospholipid membranes was further investigated using lipid bilayers with DPPC/PG and fluorescent probes located either at the polar surface [l-(4-trimethylammonium-phenyl)-6- phenyl-1,5-hexatriene (TMA-DPH) sodium anilino naphthalene sulfonat (ANS)] or within the Hydrophobie core (DPH) of the liposome. Changes in fluorescence intensity and in polarization were observed when TMA-DPH or ANS, but not DPH were used. Comparative data also indicate that all three polymers interact only with the outer surface of the bilayer, but even the most marked penetration of polycationic polypeptide (SAK) did no result in alteration of the ordered state of the alkylchains in the bilayer. Taken together, data obtained from monoor bilayer experiments suggest that the interaction between branched polymers and phospholipids are highly dependent on the charge properties (Ser vs Glu) and on the identity (Ser vs Ala) of side-chain terminating amino acids. The binding of polymers to the model membranes could be mainly driven by electrostatic forces, but the significant role of hydrophilic properties in case of SAK cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Branched chain synthetic polypeptides
  • Drug targeting and delivery
  • Lipid monolayers/bilayers
  • Macromolecular carriers
  • Membrane- Synthetic polypeptide interaction
  • Polymer therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry

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