- The effect of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) on lipid vesicle fusion and leakage induced by influenza virus fusion peptides and the peptide interaction with lipid membranes were studied by using fluorescence spectroscopy and monolayer surface tension measurements. It was confirmed that the wild-type fusion peptide-induced vesicle fusion rate increased several-fold between pH 7 and 5, unlike a mutated peptide, in which valine residues were substituted for glutamic acid residues at positions 11 and 15. This mutated peptide exhibited a much greater ability to induce lipid vesicle fusion and leakage but in a less pH-dependent manner compared to the wild-type fusion peptide. The peptide-induced vesicle fusion and leakage were well correlated with the degree of interaction of these peptides with lipid membranes, as deduced from the rotational correlation time obtained for the peptide tryptophan fluorescence. Both vesicle fusion and leakage induced by the peptides were suppressed by LPC incorporated into lipid vesicle membranes in a concentration-dependent manner. The rotational correlation time associated with the peptide's tryptophan residue, which interacts with lipid membranes containing up to 25 mole % LPC, was virtually the same compared to lipid membranes without LPC, indicating that LPC-incorporated membrane did not affect the peptide interaction with the membrane. The adsorption of peptide onto a lipid monolayer also showed that the presence of LPC did not affect peptide adsorption.