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Abstract

Phosphatidylglycerols represent a large share of the lipids in the plasmamembrane of procaryotes. Therefore, this study investigates the role of charged lipids in the plasma membrane with respect to the interaction of the antiviral saponin glycyrrhizin with such membranes. Glycyrrhizin is a natural triterpenic-based surfactant found in licorice. Vesicles made of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-rac-(1’-glycerol) (DOPG)/glycyrrhizin are characterized by small-angle scattering with neutrons and X-rays (SANS and SAXS). Small-angle scattering data are first evaluated by the model-independent modified Kratky–Porod method and afterwards fitted by a model describing the shape of small unilamellar vesicles (SUV) with an internal head-tail contrast. Complete miscibility of DOPG and glycyrrhizin was revealed even at a ratio of lipid:saponin of 1:1. Additional information about the chain-chain correlation distance of the lipid/saponin mixtures in the SUV structures is obtained from wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS).