Assessing the Perturbing Effects of Drugs on Lipid Bilayers Using Gramicidin Channel-Based in Silico and in Vitro Assays

Delin Sun, Thasin A. Peyear, W. F.Drew Bennett, Matthew Holcomb, Stewart He, Fangqiang Zhu, Felice C. Lightstone, Olaf S. Andersen, Helgi I. Ingólfsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Partitioning of bioactive molecules, including drugs, into cell membranes may produce indiscriminate changes in membrane protein function. As a guide to safe drug development, it therefore becomes important to be able to predict the bilayer-perturbing potency of hydrophobic/amphiphilic drugs candidates. Toward this end, we exploited gramicidin channels as molecular force probes and developed in silico and in vitro assays to measure drugs' bilayer-modifying potency. We examined eight drug-like molecules that were found to enhance or suppress gramicidin channel function in a thick 1,2-dierucoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DC22:1PC) but not in thin 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DC18:1PC) lipid bilayer. The mechanism underlying this difference was attributable to the changes in gramicidin dimerization free energy by drug-induced perturbations of lipid bilayer physical properties and bilayer-gramicidin interactions. The combined in silico and in vitro approaches, which allow for predicting the perturbing effects of drug candidates on membrane protein function, have implications for preclinical drug safety assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11809-11818
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medicinal chemistry
Volume63
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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