LIPID-LIPID AND LIPID-DRUG INTERACTIONS IN BIOLOGICAL MEMBRANES
MARTYNOWYCZ, MICHAEL W.
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Interactions between lipids and drug molecules in biological membranes help govern proper biological function in organisms. The mechanisms responsible for hydrophobic drug permeation remain elusive. Many small molecule drugs are hydrophobic. These drugs inhibit proteins in the cellular interior. The rise of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is thought to be caused by mutations in protein structure, changing drug kinetics to favor growth. However, small molecule drugs have been shown to have different mechanisms depending in the structure of the lipid membrane of the target cell. Biological membranes are investigated using Langmuir monolayers at the airliquid interface. These offer the highest level of control in the mimetic system and allow them to be investigated using complementary techniques. Langmuir isotherms and insertion assays are used to determine the area occupied by each lipid in the membrane and the change in area caused by the introduction of a drug molecule, respectively. Specular X-ray re ectivity is used to determine the electron density of the monolayer, and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction is used to determine the inplane order of the monolayer. These methods determine the affinity of the drug and the mechanism of action. Studies are presented on hydrophobic drugs with mammalian membrane mimics using warfarin along with modified analogues, called superwarfarins. Data shows that toxicity of these modified drugs are modulated by the membrane cholesterol content in cells; explaining several previously unexplained effects of the drugs. Membrane mimics of bacteria are investigated along with their interactions with a hydrophobic antibiotic, novobiocin. Data suggests that permeation of the drug is mediated by modifications to the membrane lipids, and completely ceases translocation under certain circumstances.