Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 2019 Jun 17;1861(6):1213-1227. Epub 2019 Apr 17.
Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076, India. Electronic address:
Lipid structure critically dictates the molecular interactions of drugs with membranes influencing passive diffusion, drug partitioning and accumulation, thereby underpinning a lipid-composition specific interplay. Spurring selective passive drug diffusion and uptake through membranes is an obvious solution to combat growing antibiotic resistance with minimized toxicities. However, the spectrum of complex mycobacterial lipids and lack thereof of suitable membrane platforms limits the understanding of mechanisms underlying drug-membrane interactions in tuberculosis. Herein, we developed membrane scaffolds specific to mycobacterial outer membrane and demonstrate them as improvised research platforms for investigating anti-tubercular drug interactions. Combined spectroscopy and microscopy results reveal an enhanced partitioning of model drug Rifabutin in trehalose dimycolate-containing mycobacterial membrane systems. These effects are apportioned to specific changes in membrane structure, order and fluidity leading to enhanced drug interaction. These findings on the membrane biophysical consequences of drug interactions will offer valuable insights for guiding the design of more effective antibiotic drugs coupled with tuned toxicity profiles.