Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology

Phospholipase-catalyzed hydrolysis in an artificial cell membrane in the presence of melittin.

PMID 23646709


Biomimicry involves the use of the structure and function of biological systems as models for the design and engineering of materials and machines. An artificial cell membrane was developed using biomembrane components, and the membrane, formed by a lipid bilayer, was analyzed using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to monitor hydrolysis by phospholipase (PL). The simultaneous atomic force microscope (AFM) images show that PL catalyzed the nanometer-scale hydrolysis of the artificial lipid biomembranes through enzymatic hydrolysis. In addition, it was confirmed that the combination of PL and melittin allowed the control of enzyme hydrolysis for the degradation of the lipid bilayer. Regarding the expected activating effect of melittin on hydrolysis, no difference with respect to the non-treated lipid membrane was observed in the AFM images. It is assumed that the partitioning of melittin into the membrane might prevent the binding or hydrolysis of Phospholipase A2 (PLA2). This study provides basic knowledge on a new approach for patterning biomimicking lipid membranes on a nano-scale.