[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artificial lipidic bilayers are widely used as a model for the lipid matrix in biological cell membranes. We use the Pockels electro-optical effect to investigate the properties of an artificial lipidic membrane doped with nonlinear molecules in the outer layer. We report here what is believed to be the first electro-optical Pockels signal and image from such a membrane. The electro-optical dephasing distribution within the membrane is imaged and the signal is shown to be linear as a function of the applied voltage. A theoretical analysis taking into account the statistical orientation distribution of the inserted dye molecules allows us to estimate the doped membrane nonlinearity. Ongoing extensions of this work to living cell membranes are discussed.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Biophysical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the main component of cellular membranes, lipid bilayers were widely investigated. A prerequisite approach may consist in studying an artificial bi-layer, which is able to mimic some aspects of a natural membrane through its constituents. Methods were proposed to produce these artificial membranes using different biochip technologies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the first imaging of a dye-doped artificial bilayer using electro-optical microscopy. The applied voltage dependence confirms the origin of the effect. This result is an important step towards a contactless optical patch-clamp.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) with 39-42 residues is the major component of amyloid plaques found in brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, and soluble oligomeric peptide aggregates mediate toxic effects on neurons. The Abeta aggregation involves a conformational change of the peptide structure to beta-sheet. In the present study, we report on the effect of detergents on the structure transitions of Abeta, to mimic the effects that biomembranes may have. In vitro, monomeric Abeta(1-40) in a dilute aqueous solution is weakly structured. By gradually adding small amounts of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) or lithium dodecyl sulfate to a dilute aqueous solution, Abeta(1-40) is converted to beta-sheet, as observed by CD at 3 degrees C and 20 degrees C. The transition is mainly a two-state process, as revealed by approximately isodichroic points in the titrations. Abeta(1-40) loses almost all NMR signals at dodecyl sulfate concentrations giving rise to the optimal beta-sheet content (approximate detergent/peptide ratio = 20). Under these conditions, thioflavin T fluorescence measurements indicate a maximum of aggregated amyloid-like structures. The loss of NMR signals suggests that these are also involved in intermediate chemical exchange. Transverse relaxation optimized spectroscopy NMR spectra indicate that the C-terminal residues are more dynamic than the others. By further addition of SDS or lithium dodecyl sulfate reaching concentrations close to the critical micellar concentration, CD, NMR and FTIR spectra show that the peptide rearranges to form a micelle-bound structure with alpha-helical segments, similar to the secondary structures formed when a high concentration of detergent is added directly to the peptide solution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dynorphins, endogeneous opioid neuropeptides, function as ligands to the opioid kappa receptors and also induce non-opioid effects in neurons, probably related to direct membrane interactions. We have characterized the structure transitions of dynorphins (big dynorphin, dynorphin A and dynorphin B) induced by the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). In SDS titrations monitored by circular dichroism, we observed secondary structure conversions of the peptides from random coil to alpha-helix with a highly aggregated intermediate. As determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, this intermediate exhibited beta-sheet structure for dynorphin B and big dynorphin. In contrast, aggregated dynorphin A was alpha-helical without considerable beta-sheet content. Hydrophobicity analysis indicates that the YGGFLRR motif present in all dynorphins is prone to be inserted in the membrane. Comparing big dynorphin with dynorphin A and dynorphin B, we suggest that the potent neurotoxicity of big dynorphin could be related to the combination of amino acid sequences and secondary structure propensities of dynorphin A and dynorphin B, which may generate a synergistic effect for big dynorphin membrane perturbing properties. The induced aggregated alpha-helix of dynorphin A is also correlated with membrane perturbations, whereas the beta-sheet of dynorphin B does not correlate with membrane perturbations.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dynorphins, endogeneous opioid peptides, function as ligands to the opioid kappa receptors but also induce non-opioid excitotoxic effects. Dynorphin A can increase the intra-neuronal calcium concentration through a non-opioid and non-NMDA mechanism. In this investigation, we show that big dynorphin, dynorphin A and to some extent dynorphin A (1-13), but not dynorphin B, allow calcium to enter into large unilamellar phospholipid vesicles with partly negative headgroups. The effects parallel the previously studied potency of dynorphins to translocate through biological membranes and to cause calcein leakage from large unilamellar phospholipid vesicles. There is no calcium ion influx into vesicles with zwitterionic headgroups. We have also investigated if the dynorphins can translocate through the vesicle membranes and estimated the relative strength of interaction of the peptides with the vesicles by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The results show that dynorphins do not translocate in this membrane model system. There is a strong electrostatic contribution to the interaction of the peptides with the membrane model system.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dynorphins, endogeneous opioid peptides, function as ligands to the opioid kappa receptors and induce non-opioid excitotoxic effects. Here we show that big dynorphin and dynorphin A, but not dynorphin B, cause leakage effects in large unilamellar phospholipid vesicles (LUVs). The effects parallel the previously studied potency of dynorphins to translocate through biological membranes. Calcein leakage caused by dynorphin A from LUVs with varying POPG/POPC molar ratios was promoted by higher phospholipid headgroup charges, suggesting that electrostatic interactions are important for the effects. A possibility that dynorphins generate non-opioid excitatory effects by inducing perturbations in the lipid bilayer of the plasma membrane is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several peptides, including penetratin and Tat, are known to translocate across the plasma membrane. Dynorphin opioid peptides are similar to cell-penetrating peptides in a high content of basic and hydrophobic amino acid residues. We demonstrate that dynorphin A and big dynorphin, consisting of dynorphins A and B, can penetrate into neurons and non-neuronal cells using confocal fluorescence microscopy/immunolabeling. The peptide distribution was characterized by cytoplasmic labeling with minimal signal in the cell nucleus and on the plasma membrane. Translocated peptides were associated with the endoplasmic reticulum but not with the Golgi apparatus or clathrin-coated endocytotic vesicles. Rapid entry of dynorphin A into the cytoplasm of live cells was revealed by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The translocation potential of dynorphin A was comparable with that of transportan-10, a prototypical cell-penetrating peptide. A central big dynorphin fragment, which retains all basic amino acids, and dynorphin B did not enter the cells. The latter two peptides interacted with negatively charged phospholipid vesicles similarly to big dynorphin and dynorphin A, suggesting that interactions of these peptides with phospholipids in the plasma membrane are not impaired. Translocation was not mediated via opioid receptors. The potential of dynorphins to penetrate into cells correlates with their ability to induce non-opioid effects in animals. Translocation across the plasma membrane may represent a previously unknown mechanism by which dynorphins can signal information to the cell interior.
No preview · Article · Aug 2005 · Journal of Biological Chemistry