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Biochemistry. 1985 Jan 15;24(2):442-52.

Interaction of gentamicin and spermine with bilayer membranes containing negatively charged phospholipids.


We measured the electrophoretic mobility of multilamellar phospholipid vesicles, the 31P NMR spectra of both sonicated and multilamellar vesicles, and the conductance of planar bilayer membranes to study the binding of spermine and gentamicin to membranes. Spermine and gentamicin do not bind significantly to the zwitterionic lipid phosphatidylcholine. We measured the concentrations of gentamicin and spermine that reverse the charge on vesicles formed from a mixture of phosphatidylcholine and either phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylinositol. From these measurements, we determined that the intrinsic association constants of the cations with these negative lipids are all about 10 M-1. This value is orders of magnitude lower than the apparent binding constants reported in the literature by other groups because the negative electrostatic surface potential of the membranes and the resultant accumulation of these cations in the aqueous diffuse double layer adjacent to the membranes have not been explicitly considered in previous studies. Our main conclusion is that the Gouy-Chapman-Stern theory of the aqueous diffuse double layer can describe surprisingly well the interaction of gentamicin and spermine with bilayer membranes formed in a 0.1 M NaCl solution if the negative phospholipids constitute less than 50% of the membrane. Thus, the theory should be useful for describing the interactions of these cations with the bilayer component of biological membranes, which typically contain less than 50% negative lipids. For example, our results support the suggestion of Sastrasinh et al. [Sastrasinh, M., Krauss, T. C., Weinberg, J. M., & Humes, H. D. (1982) J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 222, 350-358] that phosphatidylinositol is the major binding site for gentamicin in renal brush border membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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