Vol 9, No 1 (2012) > Review >

Archaeosomes and Tetraether Lipid Liposome

Hans-Joachim Freisleben



Archaea have phytanyl ether lipids which is one of the characteristics that separates them

from bacteria and eukaryotes. Some archaea have also unique membrane spanning tetrae-

ther lipids (T EL); in Sulfolobus and Ihermoplasma species these TELmake up the majority

of total membrane lipids. Archaeal lipids are able to form stable liposomal structures, both

from membrane factions, mainly the polar membrane fraction, i.e. archaeosomes, or from

highly purified TEL (tetraether lipid liposomes). Liposomes of the main polar lipid (MPL)

from thermoacidophilic archaeon Ihermoplasma acidophilum were thoroughly inevstigat-

ed. Archaeosomes and TEL liposomes exhibit extremely low proton permeability and high

stability at low pH, which makes them suitable to delivery of therapeutics and vaccines via

the gastro-inetestinal route. Liposomes from egg lecithin can be stabilized by incorporation

of 11-12 mole% MPL. MPL liposomes show long-term shelf stability even at high tempera-

tures without conservation. The size of MPL liposomes between 100 nm (unilamellar) and

several gm (multilamellar) depends mainly on the method of preparation. Toxicity and

mutagenicity have not been detected in toxicological screening. This is a review report on

the lipid from archaea to be developed as an alternative to conventional liposome for vari-

ous industrial applications, especially for pharmaceutical industry.

Published at: Vol 9, No 1 (2012) pages: 53-65

DOI: 10.7454/psr.v9i1.3358

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