American Chemical Society
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Antagonist Effects of l‑Phenylalanine and the Enantiomeric Mixture Containing d‑Phenylalanine on Phospholipid Vesicle Membrane

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-03-02, 18:24 authored by Sourav Nandi, Arghajit Pyne, Meghna Ghosh, Pavel Banerjee, Biswajoy Ghosh, Nilmoni Sarkar
One of the congenital flaws of metabolism, phenyl­ketonuria (PKU), is known to be related to the self-assembly of toxic fibrillar aggregates of phenyl­alanine (Phe) in blood at elevated concentrations. Our experimental findings using l-phenyl­alanine (l-Phe) at millimolar concentration suggest the formation of fibrillar morphologies in the dry phase, which in the solution phase interact strongly with the model membrane composed of 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycero-phospho­choline (LAPC) lipid, thereby decreasing the rigidity (or increasing the fluidity) of the membrane. The hydrophobic interaction, in addition to the electrostatic attraction of Phe with the model membrane, is found to be responsible for such phenomena. On the contrary, various microscopic observations reveal that such fibrillar morphologies of l-Phe are severely ruptured in the presence of its enantiomer d-phenylalanine (d-Phe), thereby converting the fibrillar morphologies into crushed flakes. Various biophysical studies, including the solvation dynamics experiment, suggest that this l-Phe in the presence of d-Phe, when interacting with the same model membrane, now reverts the rigidity of the membrane, i.e., increases the rigidity of the membrane, which was lost due to interaction with l-Phe exclusively. Fluorescence anisotropy measurements also support this reverse rigid character of the membrane in the presence of an enantiomeric mixture of amino acids. A comprehensive understanding of the interaction of Phe with the model membrane is further pursued at the single-molecular fluorescence detection level using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) experiments. Therefore, our experimental conclusion interprets a linear correlation between increased permeability and enhanced fluidity of the membrane in the presence of l-Phe and certifies d-Phe as a therapeutic modulator of l-Phe fibrillar morphologies. Further, the study proposes that the rigidity of the membrane lost due to interaction with l-Phe was reinstatedin fact, increasedin the presence of the enantiomeric mixture containing both d- and l-Phe.