Section 19
Chapter 18,125

Spermine as a modulator of membrane fusion: interactions with acidic phospholipids

Meers, P.; Hong, K.; Bentz, J.; Papahadjopoulos, D.

Biochemistry 25(11): 3109-3118


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-2960
PMID: 3730351
DOI: 10.1021/bi00359a007
Accession: 018124784

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The interaction of spermine with acidic phospholipids was investigated for its possible relevance to membrane fusion. Equilibrium dialysis was used to measure the binding of spermine and calcium to large unilamellar vesicles (liposomes) of phosphatidate (PA) or phosphatidylserine (PS). Spermine bound to isolated PA and PS liposomes with intrinsic association constants of approximately 2 and 0.2 M-1, respectively. Above the aggregation threshold of the liposomes, the binding of spermine increased dramatically, especially for PA. The increased binding upon aggregation of PA liposomes was interpreted as evidence for the formation of a new binding complex after aggregation. Spermine enhanced calcium binding to PA, while it inhibited calcium binding to PS, under the same conditions. This difference explained the small effect of spermine on the overall rate of calcium-induced fusion of PS liposomes as opposed to the large effect on PA liposomes. The rate increase could be modeled by a spermine-induced increase in the liposome aggregation rate. The preference for binding of spermine to PA over PS suggested a preference for accessible monoesterified phosphate groups by spermine. This preference was confirmed by the large effects of spermine on aggregation and overall fusion rates of liposomes containing phosphatidylinositol 4,5-diphosphate. The large spermine effects on these liposomes compared with phosphatidate- or phosphatidylinositol-containing liposomes suggested that spermine has a strong specific interaction with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-diphosphate. Clearly, phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol can lead to a large change in the spermine sensitivity of membrane fusion.

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