Synthesis and membrane behavior of a new class of unnatural phospholipid analogs useful as phospholipase A2 degradable liposomal drug carriers

Thomas Lars Andresen, Kent Jørgensen

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A new and unnatural type of lipid analogs with the phosphocholine and phosphoglycerol head groups linked to the C-2 position of the glycerol moiety have been synthesized and the thermodynamic lipid membrane behavior has been investigated using differential scanning calorimetry. From the heat capacity measurements, it was observed that the pre-transition was abolished most likely due to the central position of the head groups providing better packing properties in the low temperature ordered gel phase. Activity measurements of secretory phospholipase A2 (PLA2) on unilamellar liposomal membranes revealed that the unnatural phospholipids are excellent substrates for PLA2 catalyzed hydrolysis. This was manifested as a minimum in the PLA2 lag time in the main phase transition temperature regime and a high degree of lipid hydrolysis over a broad temperature range. The obtained results provide new information about the interplay between the molecular structure of phospholipids and the lipid membrane packing constrains that govern the pre-transition. In addition, the PLA2 activity measurements are useful for obtaining deeper insight into the molecular details of the catalytic site of PLA2. The combined results also suggest new approaches to rationally design liposomal drug carries that can undergo a triggered activation in diseased tissue by overexpressed PLA2.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochimica Et Biophysica Acta-biomembranes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • liposomes
  • fluorescence
  • lipid membrane heterogeneity
  • lipid synthesis
  • liposomal drug carrier
  • ripple phase formation
  • phospholipase A2
  • enzyme lipid interaction
  • calorimetry

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