Author(s): Anna Neumann, Jacek Czub, Maciej Baginski, Neumann A, Czub J, Baginski M
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Abstract Amphotericin B (AmB) is a well-known membrane-active antibiotic that has been used to treat systemic fungal infections for more than 45 years. Therapeutic application of AmB is based on the fact that it is more active against ergosterol-containing membranes of fungal cells than against mammalian membranes with cholesterol. In this paper, we examine the hypothesis according to which the selectivity of the AmB's membrane action originates from its different ability to form the binary complexes with the relevant sterols. To this end, molecular dynamics simulations were performed for systems containing the preformed models of AmB/sterol complexes embedded in lipid bilayers containing either cholesterol or ergosterol. The initial structures of the studied binary associates were selected on the basis of a systematic scan of all possible mutual positions and orientations of the two molecules. The results obtained demonstrate that in general the complexes with ergosterol are more stable on the 100 ns time scale. Furthermore, on the basis of motional correlation analysis, taking into account the effects of lipid environment, we propose that, within the sterol-enriched liquid-ordered membrane phases, AmB molecules exhibit a greater tendency to bind ergosterol than cholesterol. The analysis of the interactions suggests that this affinity difference is of enthalpic origin and may arise from the considerable difference in the energy of the van der Waals interactions between AmB and the two types of sterols. Thus, our current results: (i) support the hypothesis that binary AmB/sterol complexes form within a lipid membrane and (ii) suggest that the higher toxicity may at least partly be attributed to the higher affinity of AmB for ergosterol than for cholesterol within a lipid membrane environment.
This article was published in J Phys Chem B
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research