Transbilayer distributions of red cell membrane phospholipids in unilamellar vesicles

Kumar, Ajay ; Gupta, C. M. (1984) Transbilayer distributions of red cell membrane phospholipids in unilamellar vesicles Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes, 769 (2). pp. 419-428. ISSN 0005-2736

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The phospholipid organization in unilamellar vesicles comprised of various purified phospholipid components of monkey erythrocyte membrane was ascertained using phospholipase A2 and trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid as external membrane probes. The vesicles were formed by sonication or detergent dialysis and fractionated by centrifugation or gel permeation chromatography. Experiments were done to confirm that the phospholipase A2 treatments did not cause lysis or induce fusion of the vesicles. This enzyme hydrolysed only the glycerophospholipids in the outer surface of the vesicles. The amounts of the external phospholipids determined by this enzymatic method were verified using the chemical probe, trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid. The choline-containing phospholipids and phosphatidylethanolamine localized randomly in the two surfaces of sonicated vesicles (outer diameter, about 30 nm), whereas phosphatidylserine preferentially distributed in the inner monolayer. This phosphatidylserine asymmetry virtually disappeared in detergent dialysed vesicles (outer diameter, about 45 nm). Furthermore, inclusion of cholesterol in both the types of vesicles resulted in more random glycerophospholipid distributions across the plane of vesicles bilayer, presumably due to the cholesterol-induced increases in the size of vesicles. These results demonstrate that the transbilayer distribution of erythrocyte membrane phospholipids in unilamellar vesicles are controlled mainly by the surface curvature rather than by interlipid interactions, and therefore suggest that phospholipid-phospholipid and phospholipid-cholesterol interactions should not play any significant role in determining the membrane phospholipid asymmetry in red cells. It is proposed that this asymmetry primarily originates from differential bindings of phospholipids with membrane proteins in the two leaflets of the membrane bilayer.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Lipid Asymmetry; Phospholipase A2; (Erythrocyte Membrane)
ID Code:16007
Deposited On:16 Nov 2010 13:34
Last Modified:17 May 2016 00:50

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