Interaction of the cholesterol reducing agent simvastatin with zwitterionic DPPC and charged DPPG phospholipid membranes

Sariisik, Ediz
Baloglu, Fatma Kucuk
Severcan, Feride
Simvastatin is a lipid-lowering drug in the pharmaceutical group statins. Interaction of a drug with lipids may define its role in the system and be critical for its pharmacological activity. We examined the interactions of simvastatin with zwitterionic dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and anionic dipalmitoyl phosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) as a function of temperature at different simvastatin concentrations using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The FTIR results indicate that the effect of simvastatin on membrane structure and dynamics depends on the type of membrane lipids. In anionic DPPG MLVs, high simvastatin concentrations (12, 18, 24 mol%) change the position of the CH2 antisymmetric stretching mode to lower wavenumber values, implying an ordering effect. However, in zwitterionic DPPC MLVs, high concentrations of simvastatin disorder systems both in the gel and liquid crystalline phases. Moreover, in DPPG and DPPC MLVs, simvastatin has opposite dual effects on membrane dynamics. The bandwidth of the CH2 antisymmetric stretching modes increases in DPPG MLVs, implying an increase in the dynamics, whereas it decreases in DPPC MLVs. Simvastatin caused broadening of the phase transition peaks and formation of shoulders on the phase transition peaks in DSC curves, indicating multi domain formations in the phospholipid membranes. Because physical features of membranes such as lipid order and fluidity may be changed with the bioactivity of drugs, opposing effects of simvastatin on the order and dynamics of neutral and charged phospholipids may be critical to deduce the action mechanism of the drug and estimate drug-membrane interactions.


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Citation Formats
E. Sariisik, M. KOÇAK, F. K. Baloglu, and F. Severcan, “Interaction of the cholesterol reducing agent simvastatin with zwitterionic DPPC and charged DPPG phospholipid membranes,” BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-BIOMEMBRANES, pp. 810–818, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: