Amphotericin B modifies the permeability properties of thin lipid membranes formed from solutions containing sheep red cell phospholipids and cholesterol. At 10-6 M amphotericin B, the DC membrane resistance fell from ≈108 to ≈102 ohm-cm2, and the membranes became Cl--, rather than Na+-selective; the permeability coefficients for hydrophilic nonelectrolytes increased in inverse relationship to solute size, and the rate of water flow during osmosis increased 30-fold. These changes may be rationalized by assuming that the interaction of amphotericin B with membrane-bound sterol resulted in the formation of aqueous pores. N-acetylamphotericin B and the methyl ester of N-acetylamphotericin B, but not the smaller ring compounds, filipin, rimocidin, and PA-166, produced comparable permeability changes in identical membranes, and amphotericin B and its derivatives produced similar changes in the properties of membranes formed from phospholipid-free sterol solutions. However, amphotericin B did not affect ionic selectivity or water and nonelectrolyte permeability in membranes formed from solutions containing phospholipids and no added cholesterol, or when cholesterol was replaced by either cholesterol palmitate, dihydrotachysterol, epicholesterol, or Δ5-cholesten-3-one. Phospholipid-free sterol membranes exposed to amphotericin B or its derivatives were anion-selective, but the degree of Cl- selectivity varied among the compounds, and with the aqueous pH. The data are discussed with regard to, first, the nature of the polyene-sterol interactions which result in pore formation, and second, the functional groups on amphotericin B responsible for membrane anion selectivity.

This content is only available as a PDF.