Interactions of surfactin with membrane models.

Biophysical journal

PubMedID: 7612835

Maget-Dana R, Ptak M. Interactions of surfactin with membrane models. Biophys J. 1995;68(5):1937-43.
Surfactin, an acidic cyclic lipopeptide produced by strains of Bacillus subtilis, is a powerful biosurfactant possessing biological activities. Interactions of ionized surfactin (two negative charges) with lecithin vesicles have been monitored by changes in its CD spectra. These changes are more important in the presence of Ca2+ ions. We have studied the penetration of ionized surfactin into lipid monolayers. Using dimyristoyl phospholipids, the surfactin penetration is more important in DMPC than in DMPE monolayers and is greatly reduced in DMPA monolayers because of electrostatic repulsion. The surfactin penetration is lowered when the acyl chain length of the phospholipids increases. The exclusion pressure varies from 40 mN m-1 for DMPC to 30 mN m-1 for DPPC and 18 mN m-1 for egg lecithin. The presence of Ca2+ ions, which neutralize the charges of both surfactin and lipids in the subphase, leads to an important change of the penetration process that is enhanced in the case of acidic, but also of long chain (higher than C14) zwitterionic phospholipids (DPPC and lecithin). From compression isotherms of mixed surfactin/phospholipid monolayers, it appears that surfactin is completely miscible with phospholipids. The present study shows that surfactin penetrates spontaneously into lipid membranes by means of hydrophobic interactions. The insertion in the lipid membrane is accompanied by a conformation change of the peptide cycle.