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Journal Articles Biochimica et Biophysica Acta:Biomembranes Year : 2015

Impact of two different saponins on the organization of model lipid membranes


Saponins, naturally occurring plant compounds are known for their biological and pharmacological activity. This activity is strongly related to the amphiphilic character of saponins that allows them to aggregate in aqueous solution and interact with membrane components. In this work, Langmuir monolayer techniques combined with polarization modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) and Brewster angle microscopy were used to study the interaction of selected saponins with lipid model membranes. Two structurally different saponins were used: digitonin and a commercial Merck Saponin. Membranes of different composition, namely, cholesterol, 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine or 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-rac-(1-glycerol) were formed at the air/water and air/saponin solution interfaces. The saponin-lipid interaction was characterized by changes in surface pressure, surface potential, surface morphology and PM-IRRAS signal. Both saponins interact with model membranes and change the physical state of membranes by perturbing the lipid acyl chain orientation. The changes in membrane fluidity were more significant upon the interaction with Merck Saponin. A higher affinity of saponins for cholesterol than phosphatidylglycerols was observed. Moreover, our results indicate that digitonin interacts strongly with cholesterol and solubilize the cholesterol monolayer at higher surface pressures. It was shown, that digitonin easily penetrate to the cholesterol monolayer and forms a hydrogen bond With the hydroxyl groups. These findings might be useful in further understanding of the saponin action at the membrane interface and of the mechanism of membrane lysis.

Dates and versions

hal-01495971 , version 1 (27-03-2017)



Beata Korchowiec, Marcelina Gorczyca, Kamila Wojszko, Maria Janikowska, Max Henry, et al.. Impact of two different saponins on the organization of model lipid membranes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta:Biomembranes, 2015, 1848 (10, A), pp.1963-1973. ⟨10.1016/j.bbamem.2015.06.007⟩. ⟨hal-01495971⟩
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