Interaction of Amphiphilic Molecules with Biological Membranes

A Model for Nonspecific and Specific Drug Effects with Membranes
  • L. Herbette
  • C. A. Napolitano
  • F. C. Messineo
  • A. M. Katz
Part of the Advances in Myocardiology book series (ADMY)


The nonspecific interactions of propranolol, timolol, and ethanol with model and sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes were determined utilizing radioisotopic association, differential scanning calorimetry, and neutron diffraction. Differential scanning calorimetry performed on mixtures of these amphiphilic compounds and model membrane bilayers composed of dimyristoyllecithin showed that propranolol was approximately 25 times more lipid-soluble than timolol and at least 100 times more lipid-soluble than ethanol. Neutron diffraction showed that the solvation of propranolol was within the fatty acyl chain region of the lipid bilayer. This solvation correlated with the effect of propranolol to inhibit ATP-dependent calcium transport in isolated rabbit skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum, a membrane that lacks β-adrenergic receptors. In contrast, the major site of interaction of ethanol was within the aqueous compartment hydrating the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane. A model for nonspecific drug interaction with the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane based on the site of interaction of these amphiphiles and their relative potencies to inhibit calcium transport by these membranes is proposed. In principle, this model could be extended to specific drug interactions with membranes.


Partition Coefficient Lipid Bilayer Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Neutron Diffraction Calcium Transport 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Herbette
    • 1
  • C. A. Napolitano
    • 2
  • F. C. Messineo
    • 2
  • A. M. Katz
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and BiochemistryUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

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