Determination of the boundary lipids of sticholysins using tryptophan quenching

Juan Palacios-Ortega*, Rafael Amigot-Sánchez, Carmen García-Montoya, Ana Gorše, Diego Heras-Márquez, Sara García-Linares, Álvaro Martínez-del-Pozo, J. Peter Slotte

*Korresponderande författare för detta arbete

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

1 Citeringar (Scopus)
1 Nedladdningar (Pure)


Sticholysins are α-pore-forming toxins produced by the sea-anemone Stichodactyla helianthus. These toxins exert their activity by forming pores on sphingomyelin-containing membranes. Recognition of sphingomyelin by sticholysins is required to start the process of pore formation. Sphingomyelin recognition is coupled with membrane binding and followed by membrane penetration and oligomerization. Many features of these processes are known. However, the extent of contact with each of the different kinds of lipids present in the membrane has received little attention. To delve into this question, we have used a phosphatidylcholine analogue labeled at one of its acyl chains with a doxyl moiety, a known quencher of tryptophan emission. Here we present evidence for the contact of sticholysins with phosphatidylcholine lipids in the sticholysin oligomer, and for how each sticholysin isotoxin is affected differently by the inclusion of cholesterol in the membrane. Furthermore, using phosphatidylcholine analogs that were labeled at different positions of their structure (acyl chains and headgroup) in combination with a variety of sticholysin mutants, we also investigated the depth of the tryptophan residues of sticholysins in the bilayer. Our results indicate that the position of the tryptophan residues relative to the membrane normal is deeper when cholesterol is absent from the membrane.

TidskriftScientific Reports
StatusPublicerad - dec. 2022
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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