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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995 Jul 6;1237(1):86-94.

Molecular basis of the inhibition of gentamicin nephrotoxicity by daptomycin; an infrared spectroscopic investigation.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The lipopeptide daptomycin has been reported to reduce in vivo the nephrotoxicity of aminoglycoside antibiotics (Wood et al. (1989) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 33, 1280-1285; Beauchamp et al. (1990) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 34, 139-147). A recent dialysis study confirmed the existence of an electrostatic interaction between daptomycin and tobramycin (Couture et al. (1994) Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 38, 742-749). The interaction of gentamicin with daptomycin and phosphatidylinositol (PI) dispersions was investigated by FTIR spectroscopy. We found no evidence of a direct interaction involving the neutralization of the aspartate groups of daptomycin by gentamicin and the amide I band of daptomycin did not reveal significant conformational changes of its peptidic moiety. On the other hand, daptomycin readily inserts within bilayers of PI, dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol or dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, as judged from its influence on the fluidity of these bilayers. The incorporation of daptomycin into PI bilayers has no significant effect on the lipopeptide amide I band. Gentamicin also binds to PI bilayers and the associated modifications of the lipid bands are consistent with a tightening of the lipid network resulting from head group neutralization by gentamicin. The affinity of the aminoglycoside for PI is slightly increased in the presence of daptomycin, in agreement with the results of the dialysis study mentioned above. The lipid features indicate that its head group is still affected by gentamicin charges, but the thermotropic behavior of the hydrophobic portion becomes similar to that of the pure lipid. It is proposed that the contribution of daptomycin to the membrane charge density and its effect on the lipid packing both combine to counteract the inhibition of phospholipase activity due to aminoglycosides. Further work will attempt to determine how the peptide rings and gentamicin molecules are organized at the bilayer surface, how specific these interactions are and to confirm the influence of daptomycin on the phospholipid catabolism.

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