A natural lipopeptide of surfactin for oral delivery of insulin

July 28, 2017


A natural lipopeptide of surfactin for oral delivery of insulin


Li Zhang, Zhenqiu Gao, Xiuyun Zhao, Gaofu Qi




Drug Delivery


Surfactin, a natural lipopeptide produced by Bacillus, is gaining attention for potentially biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Here, surfactin was assayed for oral delivery of insulin (INS) by its ability to bind to and promote protein to penetrate through the cell membrane. Analysis by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, surfactin was found to form co-precipitates with INS to protect it from acidic and enzymatic attack in the gastrointestinal tract. Further analysis by non-reductive electrophoresis showed surfactin could bind to INS forming heteropolymers. Analysis with circular dichroism, we found this binding significantly influenced the INS structure with decreased rigid α-helix and β-turn, but with increased flexible β-sheet and random coil. The change with more flexible structure was favorable for INS to penetrate through the cell membrane. Fluorescence spectra analysis also showed surfactin could lead Phe and Tyr in the inner of INS exposed outside, further promoting INS permeabilization by improving the hydrophobic-lipophilic interactions between INS and cell membrane. As a result, the effective permeability (Peff) of INS plus surfactin was 4.3 times of that of INS alone. In vivo assay showed oral INS with surfactin displayed excellent hypoglycemic effects with a relative bioavailability of 12.48% and 5.97% in diabetic mice and non-diabetic dogs, respectively. Summary, surfactin is potential for oral delivery of INS by its role as an effective protease inhibitor and permeability enhancer.




Circular dichroism, Ligand binding, Secondary structure, Pharmaceutical, Biochemistry