Citation

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Adaptive Membrane Fluidity Modulation: A Feedback Regulated Homeostatic System and Target for Pharmacological Intervention

Izbicka, E;Streeper, RT;Louden, C;

Alterations of plasma membrane fluidity are characteristic of many diseases but the intentional modulation of membrane fluidity with drugs has been less studied. We examined the therapeutic potential of the membrane fluidizer diethyl azelate (DEA) and related azelates.The effects of azelates on plasma membrane fluidity and cell signaling were examined in primary human and murine cells and in vivo. Endpoints were queried using single target and multiplexed immunoassays.Unique membrane-fluidizing properties and biomarker signatures suggest that azelates are not prodrugs. DEA decreased cytokine signaling from pattern recognition receptors in human dendritic cells, disabled membrane attack of cholera toxin in vitro, and prevented immunosuppression by anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and in vivo. In the murine sepsis model, DEA increased survival and reduced organ damage.Azelates represent a new class of drugs, membrane active immunomodulators, which target an innate homeostatic mechanism, adaptive membrane fluidity modulation.