Amphotericin B (AmB) is a membrane-active antibiotic that increases the permeability of fungal membranes. Thus, the dynamic process of its interaction with membranes poses intriguing questions, which prompted us to elaborate a quick and reliable method for real-time observation of the drug's binding to phospholipid liposomes. We focused on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and devised a new modification method of sensor chips, which led to a significant reduction in the level of nonspecific binding of the drug in a control lane. With this method in hand, we examined the affinity of AmB for various membrane preparations. As expected, AmB exhibited much higher affinity for sterol-containing palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine membranes than those without sterol. The sensorgrams recorded under various conditions partly fitted theoretical curves, which were based on three interaction models. Among those, a two-state reaction model reproduced well the sensorgram of AmB binding to an ergosterol-containing membrane; in this model, two states of membrane-bound complexes, AB and AB*, are assumed, which correspond to a simple binding to the surface of the membrane (AB) and formation of another assembly in the membrane (AB*) such as an ion channel complex. Kinetic analysis demonstrated that the association constant in ergosterol-containing POPC liposomes is larger by 1 order of magnitude than that in the cholesterol-containing counterpart. These findings support the previous notion that ergosterol stabilizes the membrane-bound assembly of AmB.
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