Axial hydrogen at C7 position and bumpy tetracyclic core markedly reduce sterol's affinity to amphotericin B in membrane

Yasuo Nakagawa, Yuichi Umegawa, Kenichi Nonomura, Naohiro Matsushita, Tetsuro Takano, Hiroshi Tsuchikawa, Shinya Hanashima, Tohru Oishi, Nobuaki Matsumori, Michio Murata

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction of amphotericin B (AmB) with fungal ergosterol (Erg) is stronger than its interaction with mammalian cholesterol (Cho), and this property of AmB as an antifungal drug is thought to be responsible for its selective toxicity toward fungi. However, the mechanism by which AmB recognizes the structural differences between sterols, particularly minor difference in the sterol alicyclic portion, is largely unknown. Thus, to investigate the mode of interaction between AmB and the sterol core, we assessed the affinity of AmB to various sterols with different alicyclic structures. Ion flux assays and UV spectral measurements clearly revealed the importance of the Δ7-double bond of the sterol B-ring for interaction with the drug. AmB showed lower affinity for triene sterols, which have double bonds at the Δ5, Δ7, and Δ9 positions. Intermolecular distance measurements by 13C{19F} rotational echo double resonance (REDOR) revealed that the AmB macrolide ring is in closer contact with the steroid core of Erg than it is with the Cho core in the membrane. Conformational analysis suggested that an axial hydrogen atom at C7 of Δ5-sterol (2, 6) and the protruded A-ring of Δ5,7,9-sterol (4, 8) sterically hampered face-to-face contact between the van der Waals surface of the sterol core and the macrolide of AmB. These results further suggest that the α-face of sterol alicycle interacts with the flat macrolide structure of AmB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 20 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


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