A computational study of Anthracyclines interacting with lipid bilayers: Correlation of membrane insertion rates, orientation effects and localisation with cytotoxicity.
ABSTRACT: Anthracyclines interact with DNA and topoisomerase II as well as with cell membranes, and it is these latter interactions that can cause an increase in their cytotoxic activity. In the present study a detailed computational analysis of the initial insertion, orientation and nature of the interaction occurring between Anthracyclines and two different lipid bilayers (unsaturated POPC and saturated DMPC) is explored through molecular dynamics (MD) simulations; four Anthracyclines: Doxorubicin (DOX), Epirubicin (EPI), Idarubicin (IDA) and Daunorubicin (DAU) were examined. The results indicate that the increased cytotoxicity of DOX, in comparison to the other three analogues, is correlated with its ability to diffuse at a faster rate into the bilayers. Additionally, DOX exhibited considerably different orientational behaviour once incorporated into the bilayer and exhibited a higher propensity to interact with the hydrocarbon tails in both lipids indicating a higher probability of transport to the other leaflet of the bilayer.
Project description:A novel strategy, recently developed by us, to use polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) as an anti-cancer drug carrier is presented. Anthracycline:POSS complexes were prepared by simple co-addition of doxorubicin (DOX) or daunorubicin (DAU) with hydrophilic POSS(OH)<sub>32</sub>. Co-delivery of POSS and anthracyclines led to higher anti-cancer activity towards HeLa (cervical cancer endothelial) and MCF-7 (human breast adenocarcinoma) cell lines. The obtained supramolecular hybrid complexes were characterised by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy (nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy [NOESY] and homonuclear correlation spectroscopy [COSY]), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The two-dimensional (2D) NOESY spectra of the complexes showed the cross-correlation peaks for hydroxyl groups of POSS (~4.3-4.8 ppm) with OH groups of DOX and DAU. FTIR showed that hydroxyl group of POSS can interact with amine and hydroxyl groups of DOX and DAU. The viability of HeLa and MCF-7 was analysed with the MTT assay to evaluate the cytotoxicity of free DOX and DAU and the relevant complexes with POSS at different molar ratios. At a low DOX concentration (2.5 µM), for molar ratios 1:1, 1:4, and 1:8 (POSS:DOX), the complexes showed two and three times higher cytotoxicity towards HeLa and MCF-7 cells, respectively, than DOX itself after both 24- and 48-h incubation. The 1 µM concentration for a 1:4 POSS:DOX molecular ratio and the 2.5 µM concentration for all complexes were more toxic towards MCF-7 cells than free DOX after 48-h incubation. In the case of POSS:DAU complexes, there was higher toxicity than that of free drug after 48-h incubation. It can be concluded that the formation of non-covalent complexes increases toxicity of anthracycline drugs towards Hela and MCF-7 cells. The novel complexes are inexpensive to prepare and more effective than free drugs at low systemic toxicity.
Project description:Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are cytotoxic DNA-protein complexes that play positive and negative roles in combating infection, inflammation, organ damage, autoimmunity, sepsis and cancer. However, NETosis regulatory effects of most of the clinically used drugs are not clearly established. Several recent studies highlight the relevance of NETs in promoting both cancer cell death and metastasis. Here, we screened the NETosis regulatory ability of 126 compounds belonging to 39 classes of drugs commonly used for treating cancer, blood cell disorders and other diseases. Our studies show that anthracyclines (e.g., epirubicin, daunorubicin, doxorubicin, and idarubicin) consistently suppress both NADPH oxidase-dependent and -independent types of NETosis in human neutrophils, ex vivo. The intercalating property of anthracycline may be enough to alter the transcription initiation and lead NETosis inhibition. Notably, the inhibitory doses of anthracyclines neither suppress the production of reactive oxygen species that are necessary for antimicrobial functions nor induce apoptotic cell death in neutrophils. Therefore, anthracyclines are a major class of drug that suppresses NETosis. The dexrazoxane, a cardioprotective agent, used for limiting the side effects of anthracyclines, neither affect NETosis nor alter the ability of anthracyclines to suppress NETosis. Hence, at correct doses, anthracyclines together with dexrazoxane could be considered as a therapeutic candidate drug for suppressing unwanted NETosis in NET-related diseases.
Project description:The role of proline in the disruption of membrane bilayer structure upon antimicrobial peptide (AMP) binding was studied. Specifically, (31)P and (2)H solid-state NMR and dual polarization interferometry (DPI) were used to analyze the membrane interactions of three AMPs: maculatin 1.1 and two analogs in which Pro-15 is replaced by Gly and Ala. For NMR, deuterated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (d54-DMPC) and d54-DMPC/dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG) were used to mimic eukaryotic and prokaryotic membranes, respectively. In fluid-phase DMPC bilayer systems, the peptides interacted primarily with the bilayer surface, with the native peptide having the strongest interaction. In the mixed DMPC/DMPG bilayers, maculatin 1.1 induced DMPG phase separation, whereas the analogs promoted the formation of isotropic and lipid-enriched phases with an enhanced effect relative to the neutral DMPC bilayers. In gel-phase DMPC vesicles, the native peptide disrupted the bilayer via a surface mechanism, and the effect of the analogs was similar to that observed in the fluid phase. Real-time changes in bilayer order were examined via DPI, with changes in bilayer birefringence analyzed as a function of the peptide mass bound to the bilayer. Although all three peptides decreased the bilayer order as a function of bound concentration, maculatin 1.1 caused the largest change in bilayer structure. The NMR data indicate that maculatin 1.1 binds predominantly at the surface regions of the bilayer, and both NMR and DPI results indicate that this binding leads to a drop in bilayer order. Overall, the results demonstrate that the proline at residue 15 plays a central role in the membrane interaction of maculatin 1.1 by inducing a significant change in membrane order and affecting the ability of the bilayer to recover from structural changes induced by the binding and insertion of the peptide.
Project description:Gramicidin A (gA) is a 15-amino-acid antibiotic peptide with an alternating L-D sequence, which forms (dimeric) bilayer-spanning, monovalent cation channels in biological membranes and synthetic bilayers. We performed molecular dynamics simulations of gA dimers and monomers in all-atom, explicit dilauroylphosphatidylcholine (DLPC), dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC), and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayers. The variation in acyl chain length among these different phospholipids provides a way to alter gA-bilayer interactions by varying the bilayer hydrophobic thickness, and to determine the influence of hydrophobic mismatch on the structure and dynamics of both gA channels (and monomeric subunits) and the host bilayers. The simulations show that the channel structure varied little with changes in hydrophobic mismatch, and that the lipid bilayer adapts to the bilayer-spanning channel to minimize the exposure of hydrophobic residues. The bilayer thickness, however, did not vary monotonically as a function of radial distance from the channel. In all simulations, there was an initial decrease in thickness within 4-5 Å from the channel, which was followed by an increase in DOPC and POPC or a further decrease in DLPC and DMPC bilayers. The bilayer thickness varied little in the monomer simulations-except one of three independent simulations for DMPC and all three DLPC simulations, where the bilayer thinned to allow a single subunit to form a bilayer-spanning water-permeable pore. The radial dependence of local lipid area and bilayer compressibility is also nonmonotonic in the first shell around gA dimers due to gA-phospholipid interactions and the hydrophobic mismatch. Order parameters, acyl chain dynamics, and diffusion constants also differ between the lipids in the first shell and the bulk. The lipid behaviors in the first shell around gA dimers are more complex than predicted from a simple mismatch model, which has implications for understanding the energetics of membrane protein-lipid interactions.
Project description:In the field of biomolecular simulations, dynamics of phospholipid membranes is of special interest. A number of proteins, including channels, transporters, receptors and short peptides are embedded in lipid bilayers and tightly interact with phospholipids. While the experimental measurements report on the spatial and/or temporal average membrane properties, simulation results are not restricted to the average properties. In the current study, we present a collection of methods for an efficient local membrane property calculation, comprising bilayer thickness, area per lipid, deuterium order parameters, Gaussian and mean curvature. The local membrane property calculation allows for a direct mapping of the membrane features, which subsequently can be used for further analysis and visualization of the processes of interest. The main features of the described methods are highlighted in a number of membrane systems, namely: a pure dimyristoyl-phosphatidyl-choline (DMPC) bilayer, a fusion peptide interacting with a membrane, voltage-dependent anion channel protein embedded in a DMPC bilayer, cholesterol enriched bilayer and a coarse grained simulation of a curved palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidyl-choline lipid membrane. The local membrane property analysis proves to provide an intuitive and detailed view on the observables that are otherwise interpreted as averaged bilayer properties.
Project description:Using a recently developed binary bilayer system (BBS) consisting of two patches of laterally contacting bilayers, umbrella sampling molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed for quantitative characterization of protein-lipid interactions. The BBS is composed of 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLPC) and 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) with an embedded model membrane protein, a gramicidin A (gA) channel. The calculated free energy difference for the transfer of a gA channel from DLPC (hydrophobic thickness ? 21.5 Å) to DMPC (hydrophobic thickness ? 25.5 Å) bilayers, ?G(DLPC ? DMPC), is -2.2 ± 0.7 kcal/mol. This value appears at odds with the traditional view that the hydrophobic length of the gA channel is ?22 Å. To understand this discrepancy, we first note that recent MD simulations by different groups have shown that lipid bilayer thickness profiles in the vicinity of a gA channel differ qualitatively from the deformation profile predicted from continuum elastic bilayer models. Our MD simulations at low and high gA:lipid molar ratios and different membrane compositions indicate that the gA channel's effective hydrophobic length is ?26 Å. Using this effective hydrophobic length, ?G(DLPC ? DMPC) determined here is in excellent agreement with predictions based on continuum elastic models (-3.0 to -2.2 kcal/mol) where the bilayer deformation energy is approximated as a harmonic function of the mismatch between the channel's effective hydrophobic length and the hydrophobic thickness of the bilayer. The free energy profile for gA in the BBS includes a barrier at the interface between the two bilayers which can be attributed to the line tension at the interface between two bilayers with different hydrophobic thicknesses. This observation implies that translation of a peptide between two different regions of a cell membrane (such as between the liquid ordered and disordered phases) may include effects of a barrier at the interface in addition to the relative free energies of the species far from the interface. The BBS allows for direct transfer free energy calculations between bilayers without a need of a reference medium, such as bulk water, and thus provides an efficient simulation protocol for the quantitative characterization of protein-lipid interactions at all-atom resolution.
Project description:Cholesterol is distributed unevenly between different cellular membrane compartments, and the cholesterol content increases from the inner bilayers toward the plasma membrane. It has been suggested that this cholesterol gradient is important in the sorting of transmembrane proteins. Cholesterol has also been to shown play an important role in lateral organization of eukaryotic cell membranes. In this study the aim was to determine how transmembrane proteins influence the lateral distribution of cholesterol in phospholipid bilayers. Insight into this can be obtained by studying how cholesterol interacts with bilayer membranes of different composition in the presence of designed peptides that mimic the transmembrane helices of proteins. For this purpose we developed an assay in which the partitioning of the fluorescent cholesterol analog CTL between LUVs and mbetaCD can be measured. Comparison of how cholesterol and CTL partitioning between mbetaCD and phospholipid bilayers with different composition suggests that CTL sensed changes in bilayer composition similarly as cholesterol. Therefore, the results obtained with CTL can be used to understand cholesterol distribution in lipid bilayers. The effect of WALP23 on CTL partitioning between DMPC bilayers and mbetaCD was measured. From the results it was clear that WALP23 increased both the order in the bilayers (as seen from CTL and DPH anisotropy) and the affinity of the sterol for the bilayer in a concentration dependent way. Although WALP23 also increased the order in DLPC and POPC bilayers the effects on CTL partitioning was much smaller with these lipids. This indicates that proteins have the largest effect on sterol interactions with phospholipids that have longer and saturated acyl chains. KALP23 did not significantly affect the acyl chain order in the phospholipid bilayers, and inclusion of KALP23 into DMPC bilayers slightly decreased CTL partitioning into the bilayer. This shows that transmembrane proteins can both decrease and increase the affinity of sterols for the lipid bilayers surrounding proteins. This is likely to affect the sterol distribution within the bilayer and thereby the lateral organization in biomembranes.
Project description:Ceramides play a key modulatory role in many cellular processes, which results from their effect on the structure and dynamics of biological membranes. In this study, we investigate the influence of C16-ceramide (C16) on the biophysical properties of DMPC lipid bilayers using solid-state NMR and atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. MD simulations and NMR measurements were carried out for a pure DMPC bilayer and for a 20% DMPC-C16 mixture. Calculated key structural properties, namely area per lipid, chain order parameters, and mass density profiles, indicate that C16 has an ordering effect on the DMPC bilayer. Furthermore, the simulations predict that specific hydrogen-bonds form between DMPC and C16 molecules. Multi-nuclear solid-state NMR was used to verify these theoretical predictions. Chain order parameters extracted from (13)C(1)H dipole couplings were measured for both lipid and ceramide and follow the trend suggested by the MD simulations. Furthermore, (1)H-MAS NMR experiments showed a direct contact between ceramide and lipids.
Project description:Pardaxin, with a bend-helix-bend-helix structure, is a membrane-active antimicrobial peptide that its membrane activity depends on the lipid bilayer composition. Herein, all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to provide further molecular insight into the interactions, structural dynamics, orientation behavior, and cationic residues snorkeling of pardaxin in the DMPC, DPPC, POPC, POPG, POPG/POPE (3:1), and POPG/POPE (1:3) lipid bilayers. The results showed that the C-terminal helix of the peptide was maintained in all six types of the model-bilayers and pardaxin was tilted into the DMPC, DPPC, and POPG/POPE mixed bilayers more than the POPC and POPG bilayers. As well as, the structure of zwitterionic membranes was more affected by the peptide than the anionic bilayers. Taken together, the study demonstrated that the cationic residues of pardaxin snorkeled toward the interface of lipid bilayers and all phenylalanine residues of the peptide played important roles in the peptide-membrane interactions. We hope that this work will provide a better understanding of the interactions of antimicrobial peptides with the membranes.
Project description:Understanding cellular membrane processes is critical for the study of events such as viral entry, neurotransmitter exocytosis, and immune activation. Supported lipid bilayers are commonly used to model these membrane processes experimentally. Despite the relative simplicity of such a system, many important structural and dynamic parameters are not experimentally observable with current techniques. Computational approaches allow the development of a high-resolution model of bilayer processes. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayers to model the creation of bilayer gaps-a common process in bilayer patterning-and to analyze their structure and dynamics. We propose a model for gap formation in which the bilayer edges form metastable micelle-like structures on a nanosecond timescale. Molecules near edges structurally resemble lipids in ungapped bilayers but undergo small-scale motions more rapidly. These data suggest that lipids may undergo rapid local rearrangements during membrane fusion, facilitating the formation of fusion intermediates thought key to the infection cycle of viruses such as influenza, Ebola, and HIV.