This paper reports the chemical synthesis and purification of a novel phospholipase-resistant C16:0, C16:1 diether phosphonoglycerol with structural analogy to ester-linked anionic phosphatidylglycerol (PG) in endogenous pulmonary surfactant. This diether phosphonoglycerol (PG 1) is studied for phospholipase A2 (PLA2) resistance and for surface activity in synthetic exogenous surfactants combined with Super Mini-B (S-MB) peptide and DEPN-8, a previously-reported diether phosphonolipid analog of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC, the major zwitterionic phospholipid in native lung surfactant). Activity experiments measured both adsorption and dynamic surface tension lowering due to the known importance of these surface behaviors in lung surfactant function in vivo. Synthetic surfactants containing 9 : 1 DEPN-8:PG 1 + 3% S-MB were resistant to degradation by PLA2 in chromatographic studies, while calf lung surfactant extract (CLSE, the substance of the bovine clinical surfactant Infasurf®) was significantly degraded by PLA2. The 9 : 1 DEPN-8:PG 1 + 3% S-MB mixture also had small but consistent increases in both adsorption and dynamic surface tension lowering ability compared to DEPN-8 + 3% S-MB. Consistent with these surface activity increases, molecular dynamics simulations using Protein Modeller, GROMACS force-field, and PyMOL showed that bilayers containing DPPC and palmitoyl-oleoyl-PC (POPC) as surrogates of DEPN-8 and PG 1 were penetrated to a greater extent by S-MB peptide than bilayers of DPPC alone. These results suggest that PG 1 or related anionic phosphono-PG analogs may have functional utility in phospholipase-resistant synthetic surfactants targeting forms of acute pulmonary injury where endogenous surfactant becomes dysfunctional due to phospholipase activity in the innate inflammatory response.
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