Properties of lipoamino acids incorporated into membrane bilayers
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Several lipoamino acids were synthesized in which palmitic acid was coupled with the alpha-amino group of an amino acid. These lipoamino acids were tested for their inhibitory action against Sendai virus fusion to liposomes composed of egg phosphatidylethanolamine and 5 mol% of the ganglioside GD1a. A commonly employed viral fusion assay based on the dilution of the fluorescent probe octadecylrhodamine (R18) exhibited an additional complication in the presence of Nalpha-palmitoyl tryptophan (palm-Trp). At higher mol fraction of palm-Trp it was observed that there was an increase in R18 quenching. Studies on the dependence of the emission wavelength of palm-Trp on excitation wavelength demonstrated that the presence of R18 alters the environment of the indole. The results illustrate one of the complexities of viral fusion assays using the R18 probe. Despite this complication it was possible to demonstrate that several of the lipoamino acids are effective at inhibiting the fusion of Sendai virus to liposomes as measured by the R18 assay. One of the most effective inhibitors of this process is palm-Trp which, at a concentration of 4 mol% in liposomes, markedly reduces the apparent rate of fusion. At pH 5.0 this amphiphile is also an inhibitor of Sendai virus fusion, indicating that the ionization of the carboxyl group of this amphiphile is not required for its antiviral activity. The inhibitory action of palm-Trp against Sendai virus was confirmed by demonstrating inhibition of Sendai-mediated cytopathic effects studied in tissue culture. A property associated with antiviral activity is the ability of amphiphiles to raise the bilayer to hexagonal phase transition temperature of dielaidoyl phosphatidylethanolamine. All of these lipoamino acids were found to possess this property, but a quantitative relationship with inhibition of viral fusion was not found.
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