The influence of steroidal and triterpenoid saponins on monolayer models of the outer leaflets of human erythrocytes, E. coli and S. cerevisiae cell membranes

Marta Orczyk , Kamil Wojciechowski , Gerald Brezesinski


The present paper discusses the use of monolayers of lipid mixtures mimicking the composition of biological membranes of bacteria, erythrocyte and yeast in the context of the anti-bacterial, hemolytic and anti-fungal activity of saponins. Saponins are plant-produced glycosidic biosurfactants with either steroidal or triterpenoidal aglycone. In the present study we used digitonin as a representative steroidal saponin (extracted from Digitalis purpurea) and a mixture of triterpenoid saponins from Quillaja saponaria Molina. The effect of saponins was studied first on monolayers consisting of single lipids characteristic for the given type of biological membrane, and then - on model mixed lipid monolayers. Finally, the monolayers were formed from total lipid extracts of natural cell membranes (E. coli and S. cerevisiae) to verify the results obtained in the simplified models. The effect of saponins on monolayers was studied by a combination of surface pressure relaxation, infrared reflection − absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) and fluorescence microscopy. In line with expectations, sterols (cholesterol and ergosterol) play a major role in the saponin-lipid interactions in monolayers, which may explain especially the hemolytic and antifungal properties of saponins. In contrast, bacterial membranes are devoid of sterols, although the presence of similar compounds may be responsible for their affinity to saponins. Nevertheless, the effect of saponins on bacterial models is less pronounced than for the erythrocyte or fungal ones.

Author Marta Orczyk (FC / CMB)
Marta Orczyk,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Kamil Wojciechowski (FC / CMB)
Kamil Wojciechowski,,
- Chair of Medical Biotechnology
, Gerald Brezesinski
Gerald Brezesinski,,
Journal seriesJournal of Colloid and Interface Science, ISSN 0021-9797, e-ISSN 1095-7103
Issue year2020
ASJC Classification1505 Colloid and Surface Chemistry; 2502 Biomaterials; 2504 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials; 2508 Surfaces, Coatings and Films
Languageen angielski
1-s2.0-S0021979719314730-main.pdf 1.29 MB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 100.0, 07-08-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 2; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.322; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 6.361 (2) - 2018=5.078 (5)
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