Interaction of polycationic antibiotics with Pseudomonas aeruginosa Lipopolysaccharide and lipid A studied by using dansyl-polymyxin

R. Moore, N. C. Bates, R. E.W. Hancock

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A fluorescent derivative of polymyxin B (dansyl-polymyxin) was used to study the interaction of polycations with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lipid A from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Dansyl-polymyxin became bound to LPS and lipid A sites, including Mg2+-binding sites, resulting in a 20-fold enhancement of fluorescence. A Hill plot of the binding data showed that the binding of dansyl-polymyxin to LPS was cooperative (n = 1.98) and of high affinity (S0.5 = 0.38 μM). The maximal binding capacity of LPS was approximately four molecules of dansyl-polymyxin per mol of LPS. The dansyl-polymyxin interaction with lipid A displayed similar kinetics (n = 2.26; S0.5 = 0.38 μM), and the maximal binding capacity was approximately 2 mol of dansyl-polymyxin per mol of lipid A. A variety of polycationic compounds, including gentamicin, streptomycin, and polymyxin B, as well as Mg2+, were able to displace dansyl-polymyxin bound to LPS or to lipid A. Marked differences both in terms of the degree of displacement and in terms of the amount of competing polycation required to displace a given amount of dansyl-polymyxin were observed. Addition of excess polymyxin B resulted in displacement of all of the dansyl-polymyxin, demonstrating that only polymyxin-binding sites were being probed. Our data demonstrate that polymyxin B binds to multiple sites on LPS, including sites which bind aminoglycoside antibiotics and other polycationic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-500
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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