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Lipid composition in fungal membrane models: effect of lipid fluidity

DOI: 10.1107/S2059798318009440 DOI Help

Authors: Olga B. Florek (University of Reading) , Luke A. Clifton (ISIS Neutron and Muon Source) , Marleen Wilde (University of Reading) , Thomas Arnold (Diamond Light Source; European Spallation Source ERIC) , Rebecca J. Green (University of Reading) , Richard A. Frazier (University of Reading)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acta Crystallographica Section D Structural Biology , VOL 74 , PAGES 1233 - 1244

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2018

Abstract: The creation of effective fungal membrane models for neutron and X-ray reflectometry experiments is a key step in the development of new antifungal pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals to allow in vitro investigation of their mode of interaction with target cells. The structure of the obtained models depends on the properties of the lipids used and the final composition of the leaflets, and can be subject to the spontaneous translocation of phospholipids across the bilayer. The effect of phospholipid acyl-chain unsaturation and the presence of steroids in the membrane on the bilayer asymmetry were examined by means of neutron reflectometry. The measurements showed that membrane stability was higher if a zwitterionic, saturated acyl-chain phospholipid is present as the inner leaflet. Furthermore, membrane asymmetry was higher in the case of fully saturated lipid systems. As a result, membrane models consisting of fully saturated acyl chains within the inner leaflet are recommended as the starting point for subsequent studies of antifungal interactions owing to the simplicity of the models and their relative stability, thus allowing better control over the exact lipid composition facing the tested antifungal.

Journal Keywords: fungal membranes; lipid bilayers; neutron reflectometry

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials

Facility: ISIS