Channel activity of a viral transmembrane peptide in micro-BLMs: Vpu(1-32) from HIV-1.
Römer W., Lam YH., Fischer D., Watts A., Fischer WB., Göring P., Wehrspohn RB., Gösele U., Steinem C.
We report for the first time on pore-suspending lipid bilayers, which we call micro-black lipid membranes (micro-BLMs), based on a highly ordered macroporous silicon array. Micro-BLMs were established by first functionalizing the backside porous silicon surface with gold and then chemisorbing 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphothioethanol followed by spreading 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine dissolved in n-decane. Impedance spectroscopy revealed the formation of single lipid bilayers confirmed by a mean specific capacitance of 0.6 +/- 0.2 microF/cm2. Membrane resistances were in the G omega-regime and beyond. The potential of the system for single channel recordings was demonstrated by inserting the transmembrane domain of the HIV-1 accessory peptide Vpu(1-32), which forms helix bundles with characteristic opening states. We elucidated different amilorides as potential drugs to inhibit channel activity of Vpu.