Biochimica et biophysica acta

Effect of potassium perfluorooctanesulfonate, perfluorooctanoate and octanesulfonate on the phase transition of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayers.

PMID 17349969


Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a persistent environmental pollutant that may cause adverse effects by inhibiting pulmonary surfactant. To gain further insights in this potential mechanism of toxicity, we investigated the interaction of PFOS potassium salt with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) - the major component of pulmonary surfactant - using steady-state fluorescence anisotropy spectroscopy and DSC (differential scanning calorimetry). In addition, we investigated the interactions of two structurally related compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and octanesulfonic acid (OS) potassium salt, with DPPC. In the fluorescence experiments a linear depression of the main phase transition temperature of DPPC (T(m)) and an increased peak width was observed with increasing concentration of all three compounds, both using 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) and 1-(4-trimethylammoniumphenyl)-6-phenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene p-toluenesulfonate (TMA-DPH) as fluorescent probes. PFOS caused an effect on T(m) and peak width at much lower concentrations because of its increased tendency to partition onto DPPC bilayers, i.e., the partition coefficients decrease in the K(PFOS)>K(PFOA)>K(OS). Similar to the fluorescence anisotropy measurements, all three compounds caused a linear depression in the onset of the main phase transition temperature and a significant peak broadening in the DSC experiments, with PFOS having the most pronounced effect of the peak width. The effect of PFOS and other fluorinated surfactants on DPPC in both mono- and bilayers may be one mechanism by which these compounds cause adverse biological effects.