Author(s): Kiv A, Mustonen P, Kinnunen PK
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Abstract Binding of DNA and RNA to sphingosine-containing dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) liposomes was characterized by differential scanning calorimetry. The thermal phase behaviour of neat DMPC liposomes was unaffected by the presence of the nucleic acids. However, significant alterations in the melting profiles of the DMPC/sphingosine composite membranes were produced by DNA and RNA, thus revealing their binding to the liposomes. For example, for 79:21 (molar ratio) DMPC/sphingosine liposomes a single endotherm at 29.1 degrees C with an enthalpy of 6.3 kcal/mol lipid was observed. In the presence of DNA at the nucleotide/sphingosine ratio of 0.6 this endotherm separated into three distinct peaks at 28.0, 31.4 and 35.1 degrees C, together with an approximately 22\% reduction in the total enthalpy. Further increase in DNA concentration up to 1.5 nucleotides per sphingosine led to complete loss of the original heat absorption peak of the DMPC/sphingosine liposomes, while an endotherm at 34.3 degrees C with delta H of 2.7 kcal/mol developed. By visual inspection, rapid and extensive aggregation of the liposomes due to DNA was evident. Evidence for DNA-induced phase separation was also provided by compression isotherms of sphingosine containing DMPC monolayers recorded over an aqueous buffer both in the presence and absence of DNA. The effects of RNA on the thermal phase behaviour of the composite liposomes were qualitatively similar to those described above for DNA. Notably, the presence of eggPA abolished the nucleic acid induced heat capacity changes for DMPC/sphingosine liposomes probably because of neutralization of the positive charge of sphingosine. The binding of DNA to DMPC/sphingosine liposomes occurred both below and above the lipid phase transition temperature, as shown by fluorescence resonance energy transfer utilizing adriamycin-labelled DNA as a quencher and membrane incorporated pyrene-labelled phospholipid as a donor. However, the apparent binding to liquid crystalline liposomes was slightly more effective.
This article was published in Chem Phys Lipids
and referenced in Journal of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics