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Influence of Phosphatidylcholine and Calcium on Self-Association and Bile Salt Mixed Micellar Binding of the Natural Bile Pigment, Bilirubin Ditaurate

Neubrand, Michael W., Carey, Martin C., Laue, Thomas M.
Biochemistry 2015 v.54 no.45 pp. 6783-6795
bile, bile salts, bilirubin, calcium, calcium chloride, cations, egg yolk, fluorescence, humans, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, light scattering, micelles, models, phosphatidylcholines, spectroscopy, zwitterions
Recently [Neubrand, M. W., et al. (2015) Biochemistry 54, 1542–1557], we determined a concentration-dependent monomer–dimer–tetramer equilibrium in aqueous bilirubin ditaurate (BDT) solutions and explored the nature of high-affinity binding of BDT monomers with monomers and micelles of the common taurine-conjugated bile salts (BS). We now investigate, employing complementary physicochemical methods, including fluorescence emission spectrophotometry and quasi-elastic light scattering spectroscopy, the influence of phosphatidylcholine (PC), the predominant phospholipid of bile and calcium, the major divalent biliary cation, on these self-interactions and heterointeractions. We have used short-chain, lyso and long-chain PC species as models and contrasted our results with those of parallel studies employing unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) as the fully charged dianion. Both bile pigments interacted with the zwitterionic headgroup of short-chain lecithins, forming water-soluble (BDT) and insoluble ion-pair complexes (UCB), respectively. Upon micelle formation, BDT monomers apparently remained at the headgroup mantle of short-chain PCs, but the ion pairs with UCB became internalized within the micelle’s hydrophobic core. BDT interacted with the headgroups of unilamellar egg yolk (EY) PC vesicles; however, with the simultaneous addition of CaCl₂, a reversible aggregation took place, but not vesicle fusion. With mixed EYPC/BS micelles, BDT became bound to the hydrophilic surface (as with simple BS micelles), and in turn, both BDT and BS bound calcium, but not other divalent cations. The calcium complexation of BDT and BS was enhanced strongly with increases in micellar EYPC, suggesting calcium-mediated cross-bridging of hydrophilic headgroups at the micelle’s surface. Therefore, the physicochemical binding of BDT to BS in an artificial bile medium is influenced not only by BS species and concentration but also by long-chain PCs and calcium ions that exert a specific rather than a counterion effect. This work should serve as a physicochemical template for studies with other conjugated bilirubins, including bilirubin diglucuronoside (BDG), the principal bilirubin conjugate (cBR) in human bile.