Permeability and stability properties of membranes formed by lipids extracted from Lactobacillus acidophilus grown at different temperatures.

Research paper by M L ML Fernández Murga, D D Bernik, G G Font de Valdez, A E AE Disalvo

Indexed on: 24 Mar '99Published on: 24 Mar '99Published in: Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics


Lactobacillus acidophilus CRL 640 grown at 25 and 37 degrees C showed a high content of cardiolipin, phosphatidylglycerol, and glycolipids. Cultures grown at 25 degrees C showed a twofold increase in glycolipids in relation to phospholipids, a twofold increase in the C16:0 and a fourfold increase in the C18:2 fatty acids. In contrast, the C19-cyc and the 10-hydroxy acid (C18:0-10 OH) species showed a noticeable decrease. Extracts of total lipids of bacteria grown at 25 and 37 degrees C dispersed in water yielded particles having a high negative surface potential as measured by electrophoretic mobility. Vesicles prepared by extrusion of these dispersions through polycarbonate membranes of 100-nm pore diameter showed high trapping of carboxyfluorescein (CF), which remained unchanged for at least 20 h. The fluorescence anisotropy measured with diphenylhexatriene (DPH) and the generalized polarization of Laurdan were significantly lower in vesicles prepared with lipids containing the highest glycolipid ratio, in comparison to those of bacteria grown at 37 degrees C. No phase transition was detected between 5 and 50 degrees C as measured with both probes. In accordance with these results, no significant release of the trapped CF in this range of temperature was detected. Bile salts and NaCl promoted an increase in the fluorescence, which is interpreted as a change in the permeability properties of the membrane. This effect was lower with KCl, while CaCl2 did not cause any change. The greater permeability change was observed in vesicles with a low glycolipid/phospholipid ratio. NaCl did not affect the packing of the interface as measured with Laurdan, in contrast to CaCl2. The action of Ca+2 may be ascribed to the binding to the negatively charged lipids, such as phosphatidyl glycerol and cardiolipin. It is concluded that the higher glycolipid/phospholipid ratio and the fatty acids C18:2 and C16:0 enhance the lipid membrane stability and decrease the organization in the interfacial and hydrocarbon zones. These results are congruent with the behavior of entire bacteria subject to osmotic and freeze/thaw stresses.