Phloretin and phloretin analogs: Mode of action in planar lipid bilayers and monolayers

Juan Reyes, Frank Greco, Rene Motais, Ramon Latorre

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64 Scopus citations


Phloretin and other neutral phloretin-like molecules are able to decrease the electrostatic potential within neutral lipid bilayers and monolayers. The relationship between the change in the dipole potential and the aqueous concentration of the molecule is well described by a Langmuir isotherm. From the Langmuir isotherm, the apparent dissociation constants (KDA) and the maximum dipole potential change (ΔΔψmax) are obtained for the different phloretin-like molecules tested. Considering the phloretin analogs as derivatives of acetophenone containing two kinds of substituents, one on the benzene ring and another on the carbon chain, it is found that (a)KDA is related to the hydrophobicity of the compound and is also a function of the position of the hydroxyl substituent in the ring; (b) from the dependence of KDA on the length of the acyl chain, it is estimated that the free-energy change is ∼650 cal/mole CH2; (c)ΔΔψmax is not a simple function of the dipole moment of the molecule but depends on the substituent on the carbon chain and on the position and number of hydroxyl groups on the benzene ring; (d) phloretin adsorption parameters are a function of membrane lipid composition. The results are discussed in terms of the effect of these compounds on chloride transport in red blood cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Membrane Biology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • lipid bilayers
  • lipid monolayers
  • membrane ion transport
  • membrane potentials
  • phloretin


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