Spontaneous vesiculation and pH-induced disassembly of a lysosomotropic detergent: impacts on lysosomotropism and lysosomal delivery


Ana María Villamil Giraldo, Timmy Fyrner, Stefan Wennmalm, Atul N. Parikh, Karin Ollinger, and Thomas Ederth Langmuir 32, 13566-13575 2016

Lysosomotropic detergents (LDs) selectively rupture lysosomal membranes through mechanisms that have yet to be characterized. A consensus view, currently, holds that LDs, which are weakly basic, diffuse across cellular membranes as monomers in an uncharged state, and via protonation in the acidic lysosomal compartment, they become trapped and accumulate, and subsequently solubilize the membrane and induce lysosomal membrane permeabilization. Here, we demonstrate that the lysosomotropic detergent O-methyl-serine dodecylamide hydrochloride (MSDH) spontaneously assembles into vesicles at, and above, cytosolic pH, and that the vesicles disassemble as pH reaches 6.4 or lower. The aggregation commences at concentrations below the range of those used in cell studies. Assembly and disassembly of the vesicles was studied via dynamic light scattering, zeta potential measurements, cryo-TEM and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and was found to be reversible via control of the pH. Aggregation of MSDH into closed vesicles under cytosolic conditions is at variance with the commonly held view of LD behaviour, and we propose that endocytotic pathways should be considered as possible routes of LD entry into lysosomes. We further demonstrate that MSDH vesicles can be loaded with fluorophores via a solution transition from low to high pH, for subsequent release when the pH is lowered again. The ability to encapsulate molecular cargo into MSDH vesicles together with its ability to disaggregate at low pH and to permeabilize the lysosomal membrane presents an intriguing possibility to use MSDH as a delivery system.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b03458