Structure of phospholipid-cholesterol membranes: an X-ray diffraction study

Karmakar, Sanat ; Raghunathan, V. A. (2005) Structure of phospholipid-cholesterol membranes: an X-ray diffraction study Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics, 71 (6). 061924_1-061924_10. ISSN 1539-3755

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We have studied the phase behavior of mixtures of cholesterol with dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC), dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC), and dilauroyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DLPE), using X-ray diffraction techniques. Phosphatidylcholine (PC)-cholesterol mixtures are found to exhibit a modulated phase for cholesterol concentrations around 15 mol % at temperatures below the chain melting transition. Lowering the relative humidity from 98% to 75% increases the temperature range over which it exists. An electron density map of this phase in DPPC-cholesterol mixtures, calculated from the X-ray diffraction data, shows bilayers with a periodic height modulation, as in the ripple phase observed in many PCs in between the main- and pretransitions. However, these two phases differ in many aspects, such as the dependence of the modulation wavelength on the cholesterol content and thermodynamic stability at reduced humidities. This modulated phase is found to be absent in DLPE-cholesterol mixtures. At higher cholesterol contents the gel phase does not occur in any of these three systems, and the fluid lamellar phase is observed down to the lowest temperature studied (5°C).

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to The American Physical Society.
ID Code:57499
Deposited On:27 Aug 2011 12:26
Last Modified:18 May 2016 08:51

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