Lipids favoring inverted phase enhance the ability of aerolysin to permeabilize liposome bilayers

  • Alonso A
  • Goni F
  • Buckley J
  • 16


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 43


    Citations of this article.


Channel formation by the bacterial toxin aerolysin follows oligomerization of the protein to produce heptamers that are capable of inserting into lipid bilayers. How insertion occurs is not understood, not only for aerolysin but also for other proteins that can penetrate membranes. We have studied aerolysin channel formation by measuring dye leakage from large unilamellar egg phosphatidylcholine vesicles containing varying amounts of other lipids. The rate of leakage was enhanced in a dose-dependent manner by the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine, diacylglycerol, cholesterol, or hexadecane, all of which are known to favor a lamellar-to-inverted hexagonal (L-H) phase transition. Phosphatidylethanolamine molecular species with low L- H transition temperatures had the largest effects on aerolysin activity. In contrast, the presence in the egg phosphatidylcholine liposomes of lipids that are known to stabilize the lamellar phase, such as sphingomyelin and saturated phosphatidylcholines, reduced the rate of channel formation, as did the presence of lysophosphatidylcholine, which favors positive membrane curvature. When two different lipids that favor hexagonal phase were present with egg PC in the liposomes, their stimulatory effects were additive. Phosphatidylethanolamine and lysophosphatidylcholine canceled each other's effect on channel formation.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free