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Biophys J. 2003 Oct;85(4):2650-60.

Aggregation of puroindoline in phospholipid monolayers spread at the air-liquid interface.

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Groupe Matière Condensée et Matériaux, Université de Rennes, Campus Beaulieu, Rennes, France.


Puroindolines, cationic and cystine-rich low molecular weight lipid binding proteins from wheat seeds, display unique foaming properties and antimicrobial activity. To unravel the mechanism involved in these properties, the interaction of puroindoline-a (PIN-a) with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) monolayers was studied by coupling Langmuir-Blodgett and imaging techniques. Compression isotherms of PIN-a/phospholipid monolayers and adsorption of PIN-a to lipid monolayers showed that the protein interacted strongly with phospholipids, especially with the anionic DPPG. The electrostatic contribution led to the formation of a highly stable lipoprotein monolayer. Confocal laser scanning microscopy and atomic force microscopy showed that PIN-a was mainly inserted in the liquid-expanded phase of the DPPC, where it formed an aggregated protein network and induced the fusion of liquid-condensed domains. For DPPG, the protein partitioned in both the liquid-expanded and liquid-condensed phases, where it was aggregated. The extent of protein aggregation was related both to the physical state of phospholipids, i.e., condensed or expanded, and to the electrostatic interactions between lipids and PIN-a. Aggregation of PIN-a at air-liquid and lipid interfaces could account for the biological and technological properties of this wheat lipid binding protein.

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