Selective permeabilization of lipid membranes by photodynamic action via formation of hydrophobic defects or pre-pores.
To gain insight into mechanisms of photodynamic modification of biological membranes, we studied an impact of visible light in combination with a photosensitizer on translocation of various substances across artificial (vesicular and planar) bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs). Along with induction of carboxyfluorescein leakage from liposomes, pronounced stimulation of lipid flip-flop between the two monolayers was found after photosensitization, both processes being prevented by the singlet oxygen quencher sodium azide. On the contrary, no enhancement of potassium chloride efflux from liposomes was detected by conductometry under these conditions. Illumination of planar BLMs in the presence of a photosensitizer led to a marked increase in membrane permeability to amphiphilic 2-n-octylmalonic acid, but practically no change in the permeability to ammonia, which agreed with selective character of the photosensitized leakage of fluorescent dyes from liposomes (Pashkovskaya et al., Langmuir, 2010). Thus, the effect on transbilayer movement of molecules elicited by the photodynamic treatment substantially depended on the kind of translocated species, in particular, on their lipophilicity. Based on similarity with results of previous electroporation studies, we hypothesized about photodynamic induction of "pre-pores" or "hydrophobic defects" permeable to amphiphilic compounds and less permeable to hydrophilic substances and inorganic ions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2011.05.018