Sample records for aligned lipid membrane

  1. Flow-alignment of bicellar lipid mixtures: orientations of probe molecules and membrane-associated biomacromolecules in lipid membranes studied with polarized light

    KAUST Repository

    Kogan, Maxim


    Bicelles are excellent membrane-mimicking hosts for a dynamic and structural study of solutes with NMR, but the magnetic fields required for their alignment are hard to apply to optical conditions. Here we demonstrate that bicellar mixtures can be aligned by shear forces in a Couette flow cell, to provide orientation of membrane-bound retinoic acid, pyrene and cytochrome c (cyt c) protein, conveniently studied with linear dichroism spectroscopy. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  2. High anisotropy of flow-aligned bicellar membrane systems

    KAUST Repository

    Kogan, Maxim


    In recent years, multi-lipid bicellar systems have emerged as promising membrane models. The fast orientational diffusion and magnetic alignability made these systems very attractive for NMR investigations. However, their alignment was so far achieved with a strong magnetic field, which limited their use with other methods that require macroscopic orientation. Recently, it was shown that bicelles could be aligned also by shear flow in a Couette flow cell, making it applicable to structural and biophysical studies by polarized light spectroscopy. Considering the sensitivity of this lipid system to small variations in composition and physicochemical parameters, efficient use of such a flow-cell method with coupled techniques will critically depend on the detailed understanding of how the lipid systems behave under flow conditions. In the present study we have characterized the flow alignment behavior of the commonly used dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine/dicaproyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC/DHPC) bicelle system, for various temperatures, lipid compositions, and lipid concentrations. We conclude that at optimal flow conditions the selected bicellar systems can produce the most efficient flow alignment out of any lipid systems used so far. The highest degree of orientation of DMPC/DHPC samples is noticed in a narrow temperature interval, at a practical temperature around 25 C, most likely in the phase transition region characterized by maximum sample viscosity. The change of macroscopic orientation factor as function of the above conditions is now described in detail. The increase in macroscopic alignment observed for bicelles will most likely allow recording of higher resolution spectra on membrane systems, which provide deeper structural insight and analysis into properties of biomolecules interacting with solution phase lipid membranes. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  3. Lipids and membrane lateral organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandro eSonnino


    Full Text Available Shortly after the elucidation of the very basic structure and properties of cellular membranes, it became evident that cellular membranes are highly organized structures with multiple and multi-dimensional levels of order. Very early observations suggested that the lipid components of biological membranes might be active players in the creations of these levels of order. In the late 80’s, several different and diverse experimental pieces of evidence coalesced together giving rise to the lipid raft hypothesis. Lipid rafts became enormously (and, in the opinion of these authors, sometimes acritically popular, surprisingly not just within the lipidologist community (who is supposed to be naturally sensitive to the fascination of lipid rafts. Today, a PubMed search using the key word lipid rafts returned a list of 3767 papers, including 690 reviews (as a term of comparison, searching over the same time span for a very hot lipid-related key word, ceramide returned 6187 hits with 799 reviews, and a tremendous number of different cellular functions have been described as lipid raft-dependent. However, a clear consensus definition of lipid raft has been proposed only in recent times, and the basic properties, the ruling forces, and even the existence of lipid rafts in living cells have been recently matter of intense debate. The scenario that is gradually emerging from the controversies elicited by the lipid raft hypothesis emphasize multiple roles for membrane lipids in determining membrane order, that encompasses their tendency to phase separation but are clearly not limited to this. In this review, we would like to re-focus the attention of the readers on the importance of lipids in organizing the fine structure of cellular membranes.

  4. Dynamics of multicomponent lipid membranes (United States)

    Camley, Brian Andrew

    We present theoretical and computational descriptions of the dynamics of multicomponent lipid bilayer membranes. These systems are both model systems for "lipid rafts" in cell membranes and interesting physical examples of quasi-two-dimensional fluids. Our chief tool is a continuum simulation that uses a phase field to track the composition of the membrane, and solves the hydrodynamic equations exactly using the appropriate Green's function (Oseen tensor) for the membrane. We apply this simulation to describe the diffusion of domains in phase-separated membranes, the dynamics of domain flickering, and the process of phase separation in lipid membranes. We then derive an analytical theory to describe domain flickering that is consistent with our simulation results, and use this to analyze experimental measurements of membrane domains. Through this method, we measure the membrane viscosity solely from fluorescence microscopy measurements. We study phase separation in quasi-two-dimensional membranes in depth with both simulations and scaling theory, and classify the different scaling regimes and morphologies, which differ from pure two-dimensional fluids. Our results may explain previous inconsistent measurements of the dynamical scaling exponent for phase separation in membranes. We also extend our theory beyond the simplest model, including the possibility that the membrane will be viscoelastic, as well as considering the inertia of the membrane and the fluid surrounding the membrane.

  5. Electronic polymers in lipid membranes. (United States)

    Johansson, Patrik K; Jullesson, David; Elfwing, Anders; Liin, Sara I; Musumeci, Chiara; Zeglio, Erica; Elinder, Fredrik; Solin, Niclas; Inganäs, Olle


    Electrical interfaces between biological cells and man-made electrical devices exist in many forms, but it remains a challenge to bridge the different mechanical and chemical environments of electronic conductors (metals, semiconductors) and biosystems. Here we demonstrate soft electrical interfaces, by integrating the metallic polymer PEDOT-S into lipid membranes. By preparing complexes between alkyl-ammonium salts and PEDOT-S we were able to integrate PEDOT-S into both liposomes and in lipid bilayers on solid surfaces. This is a step towards efficient electronic conduction within lipid membranes. We also demonstrate that the PEDOT-S@alkyl-ammonium:lipid hybrid structures created in this work affect ion channels in the membrane of Xenopus oocytes, which shows the possibility to access and control cell membrane structures with conductive polyelectrolytes.

  6. Lipids of the Golgi membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Meer, G.


    The thin membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum matures into the thick plasma membrane in the Golgi apparatus. Along the way, the concentrations of cholesterol and sphingolipids increase. Here, Gerrit van Meer discusses how this phenomenon may reflect an intricate lipid-protein sorting machinery. Syn

  7. Lipid membranes on nanostructured silicon.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Slade, Andrea Lynn; Lopez, Gabriel P. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Ista, Linnea K. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); O' Brien, Michael J. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Sasaki, Darryl Yoshio; Bisong, Paul (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Zeineldin, Reema R. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Last, Julie A.; Brueck, Stephen R. J. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM)


    A unique composite nanoscale architecture that combines the self-organization and molecular dynamics of lipid membranes with a corrugated nanotextured silicon wafer was prepared and characterized with fluorescence microscopy and scanning probe microscopy. The goal of this project was to understand how such structures can be assembled for supported membrane research and how the interfacial interactions between the solid substrate and the soft, self-assembled material create unique physical and mechanical behavior through the confinement of phases in the membrane. The nanometer scale structure of the silicon wafer was produced through interference lithography followed by anisotropic wet etching. For the present study, a line pattern with 100 nm line widths, 200 nm depth and a pitch of 360 nm pitch was fabricated. Lipid membranes were successfully adsorbed on the structured silicon surface via membrane fusion techniques. The surface topology of the bilayer-Si structure was imaged using in situ tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM). The membrane was observed to drape over the silicon structure producing an undulated topology with amplitude of 40 nm that matched the 360 nm pitch of the silicon structure. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments found that on the microscale those same structures exhibit anisotropic lipid mobility that was coincident with the silicon substructure. The results showed that while the lipid membrane maintains much of its self-assembled structure in the composite architecture, the silicon substructure indeed influences the dynamics of the molecular motion within the membrane.

  8. Electroporation of heterogeneous lipid membranes. (United States)

    Reigada, Ramon


    Electroporation is the basis for the transfection of genetic material and for drug delivery to cells, including electrochemotherapy for cancer. By means of molecular dynamics many aspects of membrane electroporation have been unveiled at the molecular detail in simple, homogeneous, lipid bilayers. However, the correspondence of these findings \\with the process happening in cell membranes requires, at least, the consideration of laterally structured membranes. Here, I present a systematic molecular dynamics study of bilayers composed of different liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered lipid phases subjected to a transversal electric field. The simulations reveal two significant results. First, the electric field mainly affects the properties of the disordered phases, so that electroporation takes place in these membrane regions. Second, the smaller the disordered domains are, the faster they become electroporated. These findings may have a relevant significance in the experimental application of cell electroporation in vivo since it implies that electro-induced and pore-mediated transport processes occur in particularly small disordered domains of the plasma membrane, thus locally affecting only specific regions of the cell.

  9. Magnetic field alignable domains in phospholipid vesicle membranes containing lanthanides. (United States)

    Beck, Paul; Liebi, Marianne; Kohlbrecher, Joachim; Ishikawa, Takashi; Rüegger, Heinz; Zepik, Helmut; Fischer, Peter; Walde, Peter; Windhab, Erich


    Magnetic fields were applied as a structuring force on phospholipid-based vesicular systems, using paramagnetic lanthanide ions as magnetic handles anchored to the vesicle membrane. Different vesicle formulations were investigated using small angle neutron scattering (SANS) in a magnetic field of up to 8 T, cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), (31)P NMR spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and permeability measurements with a fluorescent water-soluble marker (calcein). The investigated vesicle formulations consisted usually of 80 mol % of the phospholipid 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) and 20 mol % of a chelator lipid (DMPE-DTPA; 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-diethylenetriaminepentaacetate) with complexed lanthanide ions (Tm(3+), Dy(3+), or La(3+)), and the total lipid concentration was 15 mM. Vesicles containing the paramagnetic lanthanide Tm(3+) or Dy(3+) exhibited a temperature-dependent response to magnetic fields, which can be explained by considering the formation of lipid domains, which upon reaching a critical size become alignable in a magnetic field. The features of this "magnetic field alignable domain model" are as follows: with decreasing temperature (from 30 to 2.5 degrees C) solid domains, consisting mainly of the higher melting phospholipid (DMPE-DTPA.lanthanide), begin to form and grow in size. The domains assemble the large magnetic moments conferred by the lanthanides and orient in magnetic fields. The direction of alignment depends on the type of lanthanide used. The domains orient with their normal parallel to the magnetic field with thulium (Tm(3+)) and perpendicular with dysprosium (Dy(3+)). No magnetic field alignable domains were observed if DMPE-DTPA is replaced either by POPE-DTPA (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-diethylenetriamine-pentaacetate) or by DMPC (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine).

  10. Electrodiffusion of lipids on membrane surfaces (United States)

    Zhou, Y. C.


    Lateral translocation of lipids and proteins is a universal process on membrane surfaces. Local aggregation or organization of lipids and proteins can be induced when the random lateral motion is mediated by the electrostatic interactions and membrane curvature. Although the lateral diffusion rates of lipids on membranes of various compositions are measured and the electrostatic free energies of predetermined protein-membrane-lipid systems can be computed, the process of the aggregation and the evolution to the electrostatically favorable states remain largely undetermined. Here we propose an electrodiffusion model, based on the variational principle of the free energy functional, for the self-consistent lateral drift-diffusion of multiple species of charged lipids on membrane surfaces. Finite sizes of lipids are modeled to enforce the geometrical constraint of the lipid concentration on membrane surfaces. A surface finite element method is developed to appropriate the Laplace-Beltrami operators in the partial differential equations of the model. Our model properly describes the saturation of lipids on membrane surfaces, and correctly predicts that the MARCKS peptide can consistently sequester three multivalent phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate lipids through its basic amino acid residues, regardless of a wide range of the percentage of monovalent phosphatidylserine in the membrane.

  11. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis]. (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song


    Spermatogenesis is a complex developmental process in which a diploid progenitor germ cell transforms into highly specialized spermatozoa. During spermatogenesis, membrane remodeling takes place, and cell membrane permeability and liquidity undergo phase-specific changes, which are all associated with the alteration of membrane lipids. Lipids are important components of the germ cell membrane, whose volume and ratio fluctuate in different phases of spermatogenesis. Abnormal lipid metabolism can cause spermatogenic dysfunction and consequently male infertility. Germ cell membrane lipids are mainly composed of cholesterol, phospholipids and glycolipids, which play critical roles in cell adhesion and signal transduction during spermatogenesis. An insight into the correlation of membrane lipids with spermatogenesis helps us to better understand the mechanisms of spermatogenesis and provide new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility.

  12. Lipid organization of the plasma membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Melo, Manuel N; van Eerden, Floris J; Arnarez, Clément; Lopez, Cesar A; Wassenaar, Tsjerk A; Periole, Xavier; de Vries, Alex H; Tieleman, D Peter; Marrink, Siewert J


    The detailed organization of cellular membranes remains rather elusive. Based on large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we provide a high-resolution view of the lipid organization of a plasma membrane at an unprecedented level of complexity. Our plasma membrane model consists of 63 different li

  13. Pollen viability and membrane lipid composition.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bilsen, van D.G.J.L.


    In this thesis membrane lipid composition is studied in relation to pollen viability during storage. Chapter 1 reviews pollen viability, membranes in the dry state and membrane changes associated with cellular aging. This chapter is followed by a study of age-related changes in phospholipid composit

  14. The interaction between purple membrane and membrane lipid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Bacteriorhodopsin in purple membrane was reconstituted into different lipid vesicles. The effect of three different lipids on the structure and function of bacteriorhodopsin in lipid vesicles was studied by the observation on freeze-fracture eletron microscopy, the rotational diffusion of bacteriorhodopsin in lipid vesicles, the measurement of absorption spectrum, and the absorbance change with time. For these prepared samples, the results showed that DMPC was the stable lipid environment of bacteriorhodopsin; egg-pc causeed the loss of retinal chromophore of bacteriorhodopsin and it was not reversible change, cholesterol could stabilize the bacteriorhodopsin in lipid environment,but it caused the aggregation of bacteriorhodopsin.

  15. Shiga toxin induces membrane reorganization and formation of long range lipid order

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solovyeva, Vita; Johannes, Ludger; Simonsen, Adam Cohen


    membrane reordering. When Shiga toxin was added above the lipid chain melting temperature, the toxin interaction with the membrane induced rearrangement and clustering of Gb3 lipids that resulted in the long range order and alignment of lipids in gel domains. The toxin induced redistribution of Gb3 lipids...... microscopy. A content of 1% of glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) receptor lipids in a bilayer was used to bind the Shiga toxin B-subunit to the surface of gel domains. Binding of the Shiga toxin B-subunit to lipids led to the modulation of orientational membrane texture in gel domains and induced...... inside gel domains is governed by the temperature at which Shiga toxin was added to the membrane: above or below the phase transition. The temperature is thus one of the critical factors controlling lipid organization and texture in the presence of Shiga toxin. Lipid chain ordering imposed by Shiga toxin...

  16. Binding of Serotonin to Lipid Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Günther H.J.; Wang, Chunhua; Cruys-Bagger, Nicolaj;


    dynamics (MD) simulations. 5-HT was found to interact strongly with lipid bilayers (partitioning coefficient ∼1200 in mole fraction units), and this is highly unusual for a hydrophilic solute like 5-HT which has a bulk, oil–water partitioning coefficient well below unity. It follows that membrane affinity...... and a prevailing residence between the phosphate and the carbonyl groups of the lipid. The unprotonated form of 5-HT shows the opposite orientation, with the primary amine pointing toward the membrane core. Partitioning of 5-HT was found to decrease lipid chain order. These distinctive interactions of 5-HT...

  17. Atomistic Monte Carlo simulation of lipid membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wüstner, Daniel; Sklenar, Heinz


    Biological membranes are complex assemblies of many different molecules of which analysis demands a variety of experimental and computational approaches. In this article, we explain challenges and advantages of atomistic Monte Carlo (MC) simulation of lipid membranes. We provide an introduction......, as assessed by calculation of molecular energies and entropies. We also show transition from a crystalline-like to a fluid DPPC bilayer by the CBC local-move MC method, as indicated by the electron density profile, head group orientation, area per lipid, and whole-lipid displacements. We discuss the potential...... of local-move MC methods in combination with molecular dynamics simulations, for example, for studying multi-component lipid membranes containing cholesterol....

  18. How Membrane-Active Peptides Get into Lipid Membranes. (United States)

    Sani, Marc-Antoine; Separovic, Frances


    The structure-function relationship for a family of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from the skin of Australian tree frogs is discussed and compared with that of peptide toxins from bee and Australian scorpion venoms. Although these membrane-active peptides induce a similar cellular fate by disrupting the lipid bilayer integrity, their lytic activity is achieved via different modes of action, which are investigated in relation to amino acid sequence, secondary structure, and membrane lipid composition. In order to better understand what structural features govern the interaction between peptides and lipid membranes, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), which translocate through the membrane without compromising its integrity, are also discussed. AMPs possess membrane lytic activities that are naturally designed to target the cellular membrane of pathogens or competitors. They are extremely diverse in amino acid composition and often show specificity against a particular strain of microbe. Since our antibiotic arsenal is declining precariously in the face of the rise in multiantibiotic resistance, AMPs increasingly are seen as a promising alternative. In an effort to understand their molecular mechanism, biophysical studies of a myriad of AMPs have been reported, yet no unifying mechanism has emerged, rendering difficult the rational design of drug leads. Similarly, a wide variety of cytotoxic peptides are found in venoms, the best known being melittin, yet again, predicting their activity based on a particular amino acid composition or secondary structure remains elusive. A common feature of these membrane-active peptides is their preference for the lipid environment. Indeed, they are mainly unstructured in solution and, in the presence of lipid membranes, quickly adsorb onto the surface, change their secondary structure, eventually insert into the hydrophobic core of the membrane bilayer, and finally disrupt the bilayer integrity. These steps define the molecular

  19. Assessing the nature of lipid raft membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perttu S Niemelä


    Full Text Available The paradigm of biological membranes has recently gone through a major update. Instead of being fluid and homogeneous, recent studies suggest that membranes are characterized by transient domains with varying fluidity. In particular, a number of experimental studies have revealed the existence of highly ordered lateral domains rich in sphingomyelin and cholesterol (CHOL. These domains, called functional lipid rafts, have been suggested to take part in a variety of dynamic cellular processes such as membrane trafficking, signal transduction, and regulation of the activity of membrane proteins. However, despite the proposed importance of these domains, their properties, and even the precise nature of the lipid phases, have remained open issues mainly because the associated short time and length scales have posed a major challenge to experiments. In this work, we employ extensive atom-scale simulations to elucidate the properties of ternary raft mixtures with CHOL, palmitoylsphingomyelin (PSM, and palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine. We simulate two bilayers of 1,024 lipids for 100 ns in the liquid-ordered phase and one system of the same size in the liquid-disordered phase. The studies provide evidence that the presence of PSM and CHOL in raft-like membranes leads to strongly packed and rigid bilayers. We also find that the simulated raft bilayers are characterized by nanoscale lateral heterogeneity, though the slow lateral diffusion renders the interpretation of the observed lateral heterogeneity more difficult. The findings reveal aspects of the role of favored (specific lipid-lipid interactions within rafts and clarify the prominent role of CHOL in altering the properties of the membrane locally in its neighborhood. Also, we show that the presence of PSM and CHOL in rafts leads to intriguing lateral pressure profiles that are distinctly different from corresponding profiles in nonraft-like membranes. The results propose that the functioning of

  20. Self-Segregation of Myelin Membrane Lipids in Model Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yurlova, Larisa; Kahya, Nicoletta; Aggarwal, Shweta; Kaiser, Hermann-Josef; Chiantia, Salvatore; Bakhti, Mostafa; Pewzner-Jung, Yael; Ben-David, Oshrit; Futerman, Anthony H.; Bruegger, Britta; Simons, Mikael


    Rapid conduction of nerve impulses requires coating of axons by myelin sheaths, which are multilamellar, lipid-rich membranes produced by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system. To act as an insulator, myelin has to form a stable and firm membrane structure. In this study, we have analyzed t

  1. Biotechnology Applications of Tethered Lipid Bilayer Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua A. Jackman


    Full Text Available The importance of cell membranes in biological systems has prompted the development of model membrane platforms that recapitulate fundamental aspects of membrane biology, especially the lipid bilayer environment. Tethered lipid bilayers represent one of the most promising classes of model membranes and are based on the immobilization of a planar lipid bilayer on a solid support that enables characterization by a wide range of surface-sensitive analytical techniques. Moreover, as the result of molecular engineering inspired by biology, tethered bilayers are increasingly able to mimic fundamental properties of natural cell membranes, including fluidity, electrical sealing and hosting transmembrane proteins. At the same time, new methods have been employed to improve the durability of tethered bilayers, with shelf-lives now reaching the order of weeks and months. Taken together, the capabilities of tethered lipid bilayers have opened the door to biotechnology applications in healthcare, environmental monitoring and energy storage. In this review, several examples of such applications are presented. Beyond the particulars of each example, the focus of this review is on the emerging design and characterization strategies that made these applications possible. By drawing connections between these strategies and promising research results, future opportunities for tethered lipid bilayers within the biotechnology field are discussed.

  2. Pore dynamics in lipid membranes (United States)

    Gozen, I.; Dommersnes, P.


    Transient circular pores can open in plasma membrane of cells due to mechanical stress, and failure to repair such pores lead to cell death. Similar pores in the form of defects also exist among smectic membranes, such as in myelin sheaths or mitochondrial membranes. The formation and growth of membrane defects are associated with diseases, for example multiple sclerosis. A deeper understanding of membrane pore dynamics can provide a more refined picture of membrane integrity-related disease development, and possibly also treatment options and strategies. Pore dynamics is also of great importance regarding healthcare applications such as drug delivery, gene or as recently been implied, cancer therapy. The dynamics of pores significantly differ in stacks which are confined in 2D compared to those in cells or vesicles. In this short review, we will summarize the dynamics of different types of pores that can be observed in biological membranes, which include circular transient, fusion and hemi-fusion pores. We will dedicate a section to floral and fractal pores which were discovered a few years ago and have highly peculiar characteristics. Finally, we will discuss the repair mechanisms of large area pores in conjunction with the current cell membrane repair hypotheses.

  3. Polyunsaturated Lipids Regulate Membrane Domain Stability by Tuning Membrane Order. (United States)

    Levental, Kandice R; Lorent, Joseph H; Lin, Xubo; Skinkle, Allison D; Surma, Michal A; Stockenbojer, Emily A; Gorfe, Alemayehu A; Levental, Ilya


    The plasma membrane (PM) serves as the functional interface between a cell and its environment, hosting extracellular signal transduction and nutrient transport among a variety of other processes. To support this extensive functionality, PMs are organized into lateral domains, including ordered, lipid-driven assemblies termed lipid rafts. Although the general requirements for ordered domain formation are well established, how these domains are regulated by cell-endogenous mechanisms or exogenous perturbations has not been widely addressed. In this context, an intriguing possibility is that dietary fats can incorporate into membrane lipids to regulate the properties and physiology of raft domains. Here, we investigate the effects of polyunsaturated fats on the organization of membrane domains across a spectrum of membrane models, including computer simulations, synthetic lipid membranes, and intact PMs isolated from mammalian cells. We observe that the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid is robustly incorporated into membrane lipids, and this incorporation leads to significant remodeling of the PM lipidome. Across model systems, docosahexaenoic acid-containing lipids enhance the stability of ordered raft domains by increasing the order difference between them and coexisting nonraft domains. The relationship between interdomain order disparity and the stability of phase separation holds for a spectrum of different perturbations, including manipulation of cholesterol levels and high concentrations of exogenous amphiphiles, suggesting it as a general feature of the organization of biological membranes. These results demonstrate that polyunsaturated fats affect the composition and organization of biological membranes, suggesting a potential mechanism for the extensive effects of dietary fat on health and disease.

  4. The physics of stratum corneum lipid membranes. (United States)

    Das, Chinmay; Olmsted, Peter D


    The stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of skin, comprises rigid corneocytes (keratin-filled dead cells) in a specialized lipid matrix. The continuous lipid matrix provides the main barrier against uncontrolled water loss and invasion of external pathogens. Unlike all other biological lipid membranes (such as intracellular organelles and plasma membranes), molecules in the SC lipid matrix show small hydrophilic groups and large variability in the length of the alkyl tails and in the numbers and positions of groups that are capable of forming hydrogen bonds. Molecular simulations provide a route for systematically probing the effects of each of these differences separately. In this article, we present the results from atomistic molecular dynamics of selected lipid bilayers and multi-layers to probe the effect of these polydispersities. We address the nature of the tail packing in the gel-like phase, the hydrogen bond network among head groups, the bending moduli expected for leaflets comprising SC lipids and the conformation of very long ceramide lipids in multi-bilayer lipid assemblies.This article is part of the themed issue 'Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation'.

  5. Nonlinear adhesion dynamics of confined lipid membranes (United States)

    To, Tung; Le Goff, Thomas; Pierre-Louis, Olivier

    Lipid membranes, which are ubiquitous objects in biological environments are often confined. For example, they can be sandwiched between a substrate and the cytoskeleton between cell adhesion, or between other membranes in stacks, or in the Golgi apparatus. We present a study of the nonlinear dynamics of membranes in a model system, where the membrane is confined between two flat walls. The dynamics derived from the lubrication approximation is highly nonlinear and nonlocal. The solution of this model in one dimension exhibits frozen states due to oscillatory interactions between membranes caused by the bending rigidity. We develope a kink model for these phenomena based on the historical work of Kawasaki and Otha. In two dimensions, the dynamics is more complex, and depends strongly on the amount of excess area in the system. We discuss the relevance of our findings for experiments on model membranes, and for biological systems. Supported by the grand ANR Biolub.

  6. Atomistic Monte Carlo Simulation of Lipid Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Wüstner


    Full Text Available Biological membranes are complex assemblies of many different molecules of which analysis demands a variety of experimental and computational approaches. In this article, we explain challenges and advantages of atomistic Monte Carlo (MC simulation of lipid membranes. We provide an introduction into the various move sets that are implemented in current MC methods for efficient conformational sampling of lipids and other molecules. In the second part, we demonstrate for a concrete example, how an atomistic local-move set can be implemented for MC simulations of phospholipid monomers and bilayer patches. We use our recently devised chain breakage/closure (CBC local move set in the bond-/torsion angle space with the constant-bond-length approximation (CBLA for the phospholipid dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC. We demonstrate rapid conformational equilibration for a single DPPC molecule, as assessed by calculation of molecular energies and entropies. We also show transition from a crystalline-like to a fluid DPPC bilayer by the CBC local-move MC method, as indicated by the electron density profile, head group orientation, area per lipid, and whole-lipid displacements. We discuss the potential of local-move MC methods in combination with molecular dynamics simulations, for example, for studying multi-component lipid membranes containing cholesterol.

  7. Topologically-Mediated Membrane Dynamics in Supported Lipid Bilayers (United States)

    Gilmore, Sean Fitzpatrick


    This thesis is primarily design driven. It describes the development and application of dynamically tunable class of solid-fluid interfaces, which serves as a test-bed configuration for fundamental studies of soft condensed matter in reduced dimension. My specific focus is in developing these interfaces to recapitulate topology-mediated phenomenon in biological lipid membranes. The phenomena that the interfacial topology manifest in diffusional characteristics in model membranes are probed using wide-area epifluorescence microscopy and a semi-quantitative analysis of dynamic recovery following photobleaching. Furthermore, real-time remodeling of the membrane-substrate interface topology is shown to provide fundamental information regarding curvature-dependent molecular sorting and resorting. Specifically our experiments using putative raft composition mixtures confirm the conformation-dependent alignment of liquid-ordered domains and moreover reveal domain-domain interactions for the first time in model bilayers. Ongoing work aimed at delineating these inter-domain interactions in terms of membrane elastic properties is being performed. Future work that includes peptide-driven membrane deformation and sorting, as well large-scale, curvature-driven in vivo sorting of lipids is proposed and discussed.

  8. Targeting Membrane Lipid a Potential Cancer Cure? (United States)

    Tan, Loh Teng-Hern; Chan, Kok-Gan; Pusparajah, Priyia; Lee, Wai-Leng; Chuah, Lay-Hong; Khan, Tahir Mehmood; Lee, Learn-Han; Goh, Bey-Hing


    Cancer mortality and morbidity is projected to increase significantly over the next few decades. Current chemotherapeutic strategies have significant limitations, and there is great interest in seeking novel therapies which are capable of specifically targeting cancer cells. Given that fundamental differences exist between the cellular membranes of healthy cells and tumor cells, novel therapies based on targeting membrane lipids in cancer cells is a promising approach that deserves attention in the field of anticancer drug development. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a lipid membrane component which exists only in the inner leaflet of cell membrane under normal circumstances, has increased surface representation on the outer membrane of tumor cells with disrupted membrane asymmetry. PE thus represents a potential chemotherapeutic target as the higher exposure of PE on the membrane surface of cancer cells. This feature as well as a high degree of expression of PE on endothelial cells in tumor vasculature, makes PE an attractive molecular target for future cancer interventions. There have already been several small molecules and membrane-active peptides identified which bind specifically to the PE molecules on the cancer cell membrane, subsequently inducing membrane disruption leading to cell lysis. This approach opens up a new front in the battle against cancer, and is of particular interest as it may be a strategy that may be prove effective against tumors that respond poorly to current chemotherapeutic agents. We aim to highlight the evidence suggesting that PE is a strong candidate to be explored as a potential molecular target for membrane targeted novel anticancer therapy. PMID:28167913

  9. Tethered bimolecular lipid membranes - A novel model membrane platform

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knoll, Wolfgang; Koeper, Ingo; Naumann, Renate; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz (Germany)


    This contribution summarizes some of our efforts in designing, synthesizing, assembling, and characterizing functional tethered bimolecular lipid membranes (tBLMs) as a novel platform for biophysical studies of and with artificial membranes or for sensor development employing, e.g., membrane integral receptor proteins. Chemical coupling schemes based on thiol groups for Au substrates or silanes used in the case of oxide surfaces allow for the covalent and, hence, chemically and mechanically robust attachment of anchor lipids to the solid support, stabilizing the proximal layer of a tethered membrane on the transducer surface. Surface plasmon optics, the quartz crystal microbalance, fluorescence- and IR spectroscopies, and electrochemical techniques are used to characterize the build-up of these complex supramolecular interfacial architectures. We demonstrate, in particular, that bilayers with a specific electrical resistance of better than 10 M{omega} cm{sup 2} can be achieved routinely with this approach. The functionalization of the lipid membranes by the incorporation of peptides is demonstrated for the carrier valinomycin which shows in our tBLMs the expected discrimination by four orders of magnitude between the translocation of K{sup +}- and Na{sup +}-ions across the hydrophobic barrier. For the synthetic channel-forming peptide M2 the high electrical resistance of the bilayer with the correspondingly low background current allows for the recording of even single channel current fluctuations. From the many membrane proteins that we reconstituted so far we describe results obtained with the redox-protein cytochrome c oxidase. Here, we also use a genetically modified mutant with a His-tag at either the C- or the N-terminus for the oriented attachment of the protein via the NTA/Ni{sup 2+} approach. With this strategy, we not only can control the density of the immobilized functional units, we introduce a completely new and alternative concept for the

  10. Lipid Directed Intrinsic Membrane Protein Segregation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jesper S.; Thompson, James R.; Helix Nielsen, Claus;


    We demonstrate a new approach for direct reconstitution of membrane proteins during giant vesicle formation. We show that it is straightforward to create a tissue-like giant vesicle film swelled with membrane protein using aquaporin SoPIP2;1 as an illustration. These vesicles can also be easily h...... harvested for individual study. By controlling the lipid composition we are able to direct the aquaporin into specific immiscible liquid domains in giant vesicles. The oligomeric α-helical protein cosegregates with the cholesterol-poor domains in phase separating ternary mixtures....

  11. Membrane lipids and the origin of life (United States)

    Oro, J.; Holzer, G.; Rao, M.; Tornabene, T. G.


    The current state of knowledge regarding the development of biological systems is briefly reviewed. At a crucial stage concerning the evolution of such systems, the mechanisms leading to more complex structures must have evolved within the confines of a protected microenvironment, similar to those provided by the contemporary cell membranes. The major components found normally in biomembranes are phospholipids. The structure of the biomembrane is examined, and attention is given to questions concerning the availability of the structural components which are necessary in the formation of primitive lipid membranes. Two approaches regarding the study of protomembranes are discussed. The probability of obtaining ether lipids under prebiotic conditions is considered, taking into account the formation of cyclic and acyclic isoprenoids by the irradiation of isoprene with UV.

  12. Assessing the nature of lipid raft membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Niemelä, Perttu S; Ollila, Samuli; Hyvönen, Marja T


    The paradigm of biological membranes has recently gone through a major update. Instead of being fluid and homogeneous, recent studies suggest that membranes are characterized by transient domains with varying fluidity. In particular, a number of experimental studies have revealed the existence....... However, despite the proposed importance of these domains, their properties, and even the precise nature of the lipid phases, have remained open issues mainly because the associated short time and length scales have posed a major challenge to experiments. In this work, we employ extensive atom......-scale simulations to elucidate the properties of ternary raft mixtures with CHOL, palmitoylsphingomyelin (PSM), and palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine. We simulate two bilayers of 1,024 lipids for 100 ns in the liquid-ordered phase and one system of the same size in the liquid-disordered phase. The studies provide...

  13. Atomic force microscopy of model lipid membranes. (United States)

    Morandat, Sandrine; Azouzi, Slim; Beauvais, Estelle; Mastouri, Amira; El Kirat, Karim


    Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) are biomimetic model systems that are now widely used to address the biophysical and biochemical properties of biological membranes. Two main methods are usually employed to form SLBs: the transfer of two successive monolayers by Langmuir-Blodgett or Langmuir-Schaefer techniques, and the fusion of preformed lipid vesicles. The transfer of lipid films on flat solid substrates offers the possibility to apply a wide range of surface analytical techniques that are very sensitive. Among them, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened new opportunities for determining the nanoscale organization of SLBs under physiological conditions. In this review, we first focus on the different protocols generally employed to prepare SLBs. Then, we describe AFM studies on the nanoscale lateral organization and mechanical properties of SLBs. Lastly, we survey recent developments in the AFM monitoring of bilayer alteration, remodeling, or digestion, by incubation with exogenous agents such as drugs, proteins, peptides, and nanoparticles.

  14. Importance of the hexagonal lipid phase in biological membrane organisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliette eJouhet


    Full Text Available Abstract:Domains are present in every natural membrane. They are characterised by a distinctive protein and/or lipid composition. Their size is highly variable from the nano- to the micrometer scale. The domains confer specific properties to the membrane leading to original structure and function. The determinants leading to domain organisation are therefore important but remain obscure. This review presents how the ability of lipids to organize into hexagonal II or lamellar phases can promote particular local structures within membranes. Since biological membranes are composed of a mixture of lipids, each with distinctive biophysical properties, lateral and transversal sorting of lipids can promote creation of domains inside the membrane through local modulation of the lipid phase. Lipid biophysical properties have been characterized for long based on in vitro analyses using non-natural lipid molecules; their re-examinations using natural lipids might open interesting perspectives on membrane architecture occurring in vivo in various cellular and physiological contexts.

  15. Homeoviscous adaptation and the regulation of membrane lipids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ernst, Robert; Ejsing, Christer S; Antonny, Bruno


    Biological membranes are complex and dynamic assemblies of lipids and proteins. Poikilothermic organisms including bacteria, fungi, reptiles, and fish do not control their body temperature and must adapt their membrane lipid composition in order to maintain membrane fluidity in the cold. This ada......Biological membranes are complex and dynamic assemblies of lipids and proteins. Poikilothermic organisms including bacteria, fungi, reptiles, and fish do not control their body temperature and must adapt their membrane lipid composition in order to maintain membrane fluidity in the cold...

  16. Interaction of Hematoporphyrin with Lipid Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stepniewski, M.; Kepczynski, M.; Jamroz, D.


    Natural or synthetic porphyrins are being used as photosensitizers in photodiagnosis (PD) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) of malignancies and some other diseases. Understanding the interactions between porphyrins and cell membranes is therefore important to rationalize the uptake of photosensitizers....... The dye molecules were found to reside in the phospholipid headgroup area close to the carbonyl groups of the POPC acyl chains. Their orientations were dependent on the protonation state of two propionic groups. Hp(2-) was found to have a lower affinity to enter the membrane than the neutral form....... The dianions, being in the aqueous phase, formed stable dimers with a strictly determined geometry. Our results fully supported the experimental data and provide a more detailed molecular-level description of the interactions of photosensitizers with lipid membranes....

  17. Lipid Gymnastics: Tethers and Fingers in membrane (United States)

    Tayebi, Lobat; Miller, Gregory; Parikh, Atul


    A significant body of evidence now links local mesoscopic structure (e.g., shape and composition) of the cell membrane with its function; the mechanisms by which cellular membranes adopt the specific shapes remain poorly understood. Among all the different structures adopted by cellular membranes, the tubular shape is one of the most surprising one. While their formation is typically attributed to the reorganization of membrane cytoskeleton, many exceptions exist. We report the instantaneous formation of tubular membrane mesophases following the hydration under specific thermal conditions. The shapes emerge in a bimodal way where we have two distinct diameter ranges for tubes, ˜20μm and ˜1μm, namely fat fingers and narrow tethers. We study the roughening of hydrated drops of 3 lipids in 3 different spontaneous curvatures at various temp. and ionic strength to figure out the dominant effect in selection of tethers and fingers. Dynamics of the tubes are of particular interest where we observe four distinct steps of birth, coiling, uncoiling and retraction with different lifetime on different thermal condition. These dynamics appear to reflect interplay between membrane elasticity, surface adhesion, and thermal or hydrodynamic gradient.

  18. Lipid corralling and poloxamer squeeze-out in membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, G.H.; Majewski, J.; Ege, C.;


    Using x-ray scattering measurements we have quantitatively determined the effect of poloxamer 188 (P188), a polymer known to seal damaged membranes, on the structure of lipid monolayers. P188 selectively inserts into low lipid-density regions of the membrane and "corrals" lipid molecules to pack...... tightly, leading to unexpected Bragg peaks at low nominal lipid density and inducing lipid/poloxamer phase separation. At tighter lipid packing, the once inserted P188 is squeezed out, allowing the poloxamer to gracefully exit when the membrane integrity is restored....

  19. Interaction of antimicrobial peptides with lipid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanulova, Maria


    This study aims to investigate the difference in the interaction of antimicrobial peptides with two classes of zwitterionic peptides, phosphatidylethanolamines (PE) and phosphatidylcholines (PC). Further experiments were performed on model membranes prepared from specific bacterial lipids, lipopolysaccharides (LPS) isolated from Salmonella minnesota. The structure of the lipid-peptide aqueous dispersions was studied by small-and wide-angle X-ray diffraction during heating and cooling from 5 to 85 C. The lipids and peptides were mixed at lipid-to-peptide ratios 10-10000 (POPE and POPC) or 2-50 (LPS). All experiments were performed at synchrotron soft condensed matter beamline A2 in Hasylab at Desy in Hamburg, Germany. The phases were identified and the lattice parameters were calculated. Alamethicin and melittin interact in similar ways with the lipids. Pure POPC forms only lamellar phases. POPE forms lamellar phases at low temperatures that upon heating transform into a highly curved inverse hexagonal phase. Insertion of the peptide induced inverse bicontinuous cubic phases which are an ideal compromise between the curvature stress and the packing frustration. Melittin usually induced a mixture of two cubic phases, Im3m and Pn3m, with a ratio of lattice parameters close to 1.279, related to the underlying minimal surfaces. They formed during the lamellar to hexagonal phase transition and persisted during cooling till the onset of the gel phase. The phases formed at different lipid-to-peptide ratios had very similar lattice parameters. Epitaxial relationships existed between coexisting cubic phases and hexagonal or lamellar phases due to confinement of all phases to an onion vesicle, a vesicle with several layers consisting of different lipid phases. Alamethicin induced the same cubic phases, although their formation and lattice parameters were dependent on the peptide concentration. The cubic phases formed during heating from the lamellar phase and their onset

  20. Preparation of artificial plasma membrane mimicking vesicles with lipid asymmetry. (United States)

    Lin, Qingqing; London, Erwin


    Lipid asymmetry, the difference in lipid distribution across the lipid bilayer, is one of the most important features of eukaryotic cellular membranes. However, commonly used model membrane vesicles cannot provide control of lipid distribution between inner and outer leaflets. We recently developed methods to prepare asymmetric model membrane vesicles, but facile incorporation of a highly controlled level of cholesterol was not possible. In this study, using hydroxypropyl-α-cyclodextrin based lipid exchange, a simple method was devised to prepare large unilamellar model membrane vesicles that closely resemble mammalian plasma membranes in terms of their lipid composition and asymmetry (sphingomyelin (SM) and/or phosphatidylcholine (PC) outside/phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylserine (PS) inside), and in which cholesterol content can be readily varied between 0 and 50 mol%. We call these model membranes "artificial plasma membrane mimicking" ("PMm") vesicles. Asymmetry was confirmed by both chemical labeling and measurement of the amount of externally-exposed anionic lipid. These vesicles should be superior and more realistic model membranes for studies of lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interaction in a lipid environment that resembles that of mammalian plasma membranes.

  1. Preparation of artificial plasma membrane mimicking vesicles with lipid asymmetry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingqing Lin

    Full Text Available Lipid asymmetry, the difference in lipid distribution across the lipid bilayer, is one of the most important features of eukaryotic cellular membranes. However, commonly used model membrane vesicles cannot provide control of lipid distribution between inner and outer leaflets. We recently developed methods to prepare asymmetric model membrane vesicles, but facile incorporation of a highly controlled level of cholesterol was not possible. In this study, using hydroxypropyl-α-cyclodextrin based lipid exchange, a simple method was devised to prepare large unilamellar model membrane vesicles that closely resemble mammalian plasma membranes in terms of their lipid composition and asymmetry (sphingomyelin (SM and/or phosphatidylcholine (PC outside/phosphatidylethanolamine (PE and phosphatidylserine (PS inside, and in which cholesterol content can be readily varied between 0 and 50 mol%. We call these model membranes "artificial plasma membrane mimicking" ("PMm" vesicles. Asymmetry was confirmed by both chemical labeling and measurement of the amount of externally-exposed anionic lipid. These vesicles should be superior and more realistic model membranes for studies of lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interaction in a lipid environment that resembles that of mammalian plasma membranes.

  2. Concise theory of chiral lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Tu, Z C


    A theory of chiral lipid membranes is proposed on the basis of a concise free energy density which includes the contributions of the bending and the surface tension of membranes, as well as the chirality and orientational variation of tilting molecules. This theory is consistent with the previous experiments [J.M. Schnur \\textit{et al.}, Science \\textbf{264}, 945 (1994); M.S. Spector \\textit{et al.}, Langmuir \\textbf{14}, 3493 (1998); Y. Zhao, \\textit{et al.}, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA \\textbf{102}, 7438 (2005)] on self-assembled chiral lipid membranes of DC$_{8,9}$PC. A torus with the ratio between its two generated radii larger than $\\sqrt{2}$ is predicted from the Euler-Lagrange equations. It is found that tubules with helically modulated tilting state are not admitted by the Euler-Lagrange equations, and that they are less energetically favorable than helical ripples in tubules. The pitch angles of helical ripples are theoretically estimated to be about 0$^\\circ$ and 35$^\\circ$, which are close to the mo...

  3. Lipid-lipid and lipid-drug interactions in biological membranes (United States)

    Martynowycz, Michael W.

    Interactions between lipids and drug molecules in biological membranes help govern proper biological function in organisms. The mechanisms responsible for hydrophobic drug permeation remain elusive. Many small molecule drugs are hydrophobic. These drugs inhibit proteins in the cellular interior. The rise of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is thought to be caused by mutations in protein structure, changing drug kinetics to favor growth. However, small molecule drugs have been shown to have different mechanisms depending in the structure of the lipid membrane of the target cell. Biological membranes are investigated using Langmuir monolayers at the air-liquid interface. These offer the highest level of control in the mimetic system and allow them to be investigated using complementary techniques. Langmuir isotherms and insertion assays are used to determine the area occupied by each lipid in the membrane and the change in area caused by the introduction of a drug molecule, respectively. Specular X-ray reflectivity is used to determine the electron density of the monolayer, and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction is used to determine the in-plane order of the monolayer. These methods determine the affinity of the drug and the mechanism of action. Studies are presented on hydrophobic drugs with mammalian membrane mimics using warfarin along with modified analogues, called superwarfarins. Data shows that toxicity of these modified drugs are modulated by the membrane cholesterol content in cells; explaining several previously unexplained effects of the drugs. Membrane mimics of bacteria are investigated along with their interactions with a hydrophobic antibiotic, novobiocin. Data suggests that permeation of the drug is mediated by modifications to the membrane lipids, and completely ceases translocation under certain circumstances. Circumventing deficiencies in small, hydrophobic drugs is approached by using biologically mimetic oligomers. Peptoids, mimetic of host

  4. Sphingolipid symmetry governs membrane lipid raft structure. (United States)

    Quinn, Peter J


    Lipid domain formation in membranes underlies the concept of rafts but their structure is controversial because the key role of cholesterol has been challenged. The configuration of glycosphingolipid receptors for agonists, bacterial toxins and enveloped viruses in plasma membrane rafts appears to be an important factor governing ligand binding and infectivity but the details are as yet unresolved. I have used X-ray diffraction methods to examine how cholesterol affects the distribution of glycosphingolipid in aqueous dispersions of an equimolar mixture of cholesterol and egg-sphingomyelin containing different proportions of glucosylceramide from human extracts. Three coexisting liquid-ordered bilayer structures are observed at 37°C in mixtures containing up to 20mol% glycosphingolipid. All the cholesterol was sequestered in one bilayer with the minimum amount of sphingomyelin (33mol%) to prevent formation of cholesterol crystals. The other two bilayers consisted of sphingomyelin and glucosylceramide. Asymmetric molecular species of glucosylceramide with N-acyl chains longer than 20 carbons form an equimolar complex with sphingomyelin in which the glycosidic residues are arranged in hexagonal array. Symmetric molecular species mix with sphingomyelin in proportions less than equimolar to form quasicrystalline bilayers. When the glycosphingolipid exceeds equimolar proportions with sphingomyelin cholesterol is incorporated into the structure and formation of a gel phase of glucosylceramide is prevented. The demonstration of particular structural features of ceramide molecular species combined with the diversity of sugar residues of glycosphingolipid classes paves the way for a rational approach to understanding the functional specificity of lipid rafts and how they are coupled across cell membranes.

  5. Aspirin inhibits formation of cholesterol rafts in fluid lipid membranes. (United States)

    Alsop, Richard J; Toppozini, Laura; Marquardt, Drew; Kučerka, Norbert; Harroun, Thad A; Rheinstädter, Maikel C


    Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have a high affinity for phospholipid membranes, altering their structure and biophysical properties. Aspirin has been shown to partition into the lipid head groups, thereby increasing membrane fluidity. Cholesterol is another well known mediator of membrane fluidity, in turn increasing membrane stiffness. As well, cholesterol is believed to distribute unevenly within lipid membranes leading to the formation of lipid rafts or plaques. In many studies, aspirin has increased positive outcomes for patients with high cholesterol. We are interested if these effects may be, at least partially, the result of a non-specific interaction between aspirin and cholesterol in lipid membranes. We have studied the effect of aspirin on the organization of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) membranes containing cholesterol. Through Langmuir-Blodgett experiments we show that aspirin increases the area per lipid and decreases compressibility at 32.5 mol% cholesterol, leading to a significant increase of fluidity of the membranes. Differential scanning calorimetry provides evidence for the formation of meta-stable structures in the presence of aspirin. The molecular organization of lipids, cholesterol and aspirin was studied using neutron diffraction. While the formation of rafts has been reported in binary DPPC/cholesterol membranes, aspirin was found to locally disrupt membrane organization and lead to the frustration of raft formation. Our results suggest that aspirin is able to directly oppose the formation of cholesterol structures through non-specific interactions with lipid membranes.

  6. Lipids: architects and regulators of membrane dynamics and trafficking. (United States)

    Moreau, Patrick


    We have recently shown that an inhibition of sterol synthesis by fenpropimorph leads to an accumulation of sterol precursors, hydroxypalmitic acid-containing glucosylceramides and detergent resistant membranes in the Golgi bodies instead of the plasma membrane, suggesting that the individual molecules or the microdomains were blocked in the Golgi. These results and others from several eukaryotic models link lipid metabolism with membrane morphodynamics that are involved in membrane trafficking. Focus has been expanded to other lipid families, and numerous evidences are given showing lipids and lipid-modifying enzymes as key regulators of membrane homeostasis which can strongly regulate membrane morphodynamics and therefore trafficking. Beside protein-based machineries, lipid-based machineries are also shown as crucial regulatory forces involved in protein transport and sorting.

  7. Lanthanide Chelates as Bilayer Alignment Tools in NMR Studies of Membrane-Associated Peptides (United States)

    Prosser, R. S.; Bryant, H.; Bryant, R. G.; Vold, Regitze R.


    Theequimolar complex, consisting of the lipid-like, amphiphilic chelating agent 1,11-bis[distearylamino]-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA-18) and Tm3+, is shown by deuterium (2H) NMR to be useful in aligning bicelle-like model membranes, consisting of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and dihexanoylphosphatidylcholine (DHPC). As shown previously (1996, R. S. Prosser et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 118, 269-270), in the absence of chelate, the lanthanide ions bind loosely with the lipid phosphate groups and confer the membrane with a sufficient positive magnetic anisotropy to result in parallel alignment (i.e., average bilayer normal along the field). Apparently, DTPA-18 sequesters the lanthanide ions and inserts into the phospholipid bilayer in such a manner that bilayer morphology is preserved over a wide temperature range (35-70°C). The inherent paramagnetic shifts and line broadening effects are illustrated by 2H NMR spectra of the membrane binding peptide, Leu-enkephalin (Lenk-d2, Tyr-(Gly-d2)-Gly-Phe-Leu-OH), in the presence of varying concentrations of Tm3+, and upon addition of DTPA-18. Two conclusions could be drawn from this study: (1) The addition of Tm3+ to the bicelle system is consistent with a conformational change in the surface associated peptide, and this effect is shown to be reversed by addition of the chelate, and (2) The paramagnetic shifts are shown to be significantly reduced by addition of chelate.

  8. Electrophoretic separation method for membrane pore-forming proteins in multilayer lipid membranes. (United States)

    Okamoto, Yukihiro; Tsujimoto, Yusuke; Umakoshi, Hiroshi


    In this paper, we report on a novel electrophoretic separation and analysis method for membrane pore-forming proteins in multilayer lipid membranes (MLMs) in order to overcome the problems related to current separation and analysis methods of membrane proteins, and to obtain a high-performance separation method on the basis of specific properties of the lipid membranes. We constructed MLMs, and subsequently characterized membrane pore-forming protein behavior in MLMs. Through the use of these MLMs, we were able to successfully separate and analyze membrane pore-forming proteins in MLMs. To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first example of membrane pore-forming protein separation in lipid membranes. Our method can be expected to be applied for the separation and analysis of other membrane proteins including intrinsic membrane proteins and to result in high-performance by utilizing the specific properties of lipid membranes.

  9. Linearly concatenated cyclobutane (ladderane) lipids form a dense bacterial membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Strous, M.; Rijpstra, W.I.C.; Hopmans, E.C.; Geenevasen, J.A.J.; Duin, A.C.T. van; Niftrik, L.A.; Jetten, M.S.M.


    Lipid membranes are essential to the functioning of cells, enabling the existence of concentration gradients of ions and metabolites. Microbial membrane lipids can contain three-, five-, six- and even seven-membered aliphatic rings, but four-membered aliphatic cyclobutane rings have never been obser

  10. Critical point fluctuations in supported lipid membranes. (United States)

    Connell, Simon D; Heath, George; Olmsted, Peter D; Kisil, Anastasia


    In this paper, we demonstrate that it is possible to observe many aspects of critical phenomena in supported lipid bilayers using atomic force microscopy (AFM) with the aid of stable and precise temperature control. The regions of criticality were determined by accurately measuring and calculating phase diagrams for the 2 phase L(d)-L(o) region, and tracking how it moves with temperature, then increasing the sampling density around the estimated critical regions. Compositional fluctuations were observed above the critical temperature (T(c)) and characterised using a spatial correlation function. From this analysis, the phase transition was found to be most closely described by the 2D Ising model, showing it is a critical transition. Below T(c) roughening of the domain boundaries occurred due to the reduction in line tension close to the critical point. Smaller scale density fluctuations were also detected just below T(c). At T(c), we believe we have observed fluctuations on length scales greater than 10 microm. The region of critically fluctuating 10-100 nm nanodomains has been found to extend a considerable distance above T(c) to temperatures within the biological range, and seem to be an ideal candidate for the actual structure of lipid rafts in cell membranes. Although evidence for this idea has recently emerged, this is the first direct evidence for nanoscale domains in the critical region.

  11. Revisiting transbilayer distribution of lipids in the plasma membrane. (United States)

    Murate, Motohide; Kobayashi, Toshihide


    Whereas asymmetric transbilayer lipid distribution in the plasma membrane is well recognized, methods to examine the precise localization of lipids are limited. In this review, we critically evaluate the methods that are applied to study transbilayer asymmetry of lipids, summarizing the factors that influence the measurement. Although none of the present methods is perfect, the current application of immunoelectron microscopy-based technique provides a new picture of lipid asymmetry. Next, we summarize the transbilayer distribution of individual lipid in both erythrocytes and nucleated cells. Finally we discuss the concept of the interbilayer communication of lipids.

  12. Isolation and analysis of membrane lipids and lipid rafts in common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). (United States)

    Brogden, Graham; Propsting, Marcus; Adamek, Mikolaj; Naim, Hassan Y; Steinhagen, Dieter


    Cell membranes act as an interface between the interior of the cell and the exterior environment and facilitate a range of essential functions including cell signalling, cell structure, nutrient uptake and protection. It is composed of a lipid bilayer with integrated proteins, and the inner leaflet of the lipid bilayer comprises of liquid ordered (Lo) and liquid disordered (Ld) domains. Lo microdomains, also named as lipid rafts are enriched in cholesterol, sphingomyelin and certain types of proteins, which facilitate cell signalling and nutrient uptake. Lipid rafts have been extensively researched in mammals and the presence of functional lipid rafts was recently demonstrated in goldfish, but there is currently very little knowledge about their composition and function in fish. Therefore a protocol was established for the analysis of lipid rafts and membranous lipids in common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) tissues. Twelve lipids were identified and analysed in the Ld domain of the membrane with the most predominant lipids found in all tissues being; triglycerides, cholesterol, phosphoethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine. Four lipids were identified in lipid rafts in all tissues analysed, triglycerides (33-62%) always found in the highest concentration followed by cholesterol (24-32%), phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin. Isolation of lipid rafts was confirmed by identifying the presence of the lipid raft associated protein flotillin, present at higher concentrations in the detergent resistant fraction. The data provided here build a lipid library of important carp tissues as a baseline for further studies into virus entry, protein trafficking or environmental stress analysis.

  13. How Lipid Membranes Affect Pore Forming Toxin Activity. (United States)

    Rojko, Nejc; Anderluh, Gregor


    Pore forming toxins (PFTs) evolved to permeate the plasma membrane of target cells. This is achieved in a multistep mechanism that usually involves binding of soluble protein monomer to the lipid membrane, oligomerization at the plane of the membrane, and insertion of part of the polypeptide chain across the lipid membrane to form a conductive channel. Introduced pores allow uncontrolled transport of solutes across the membrane, inflicting damage to the target cell. PFTs are usually studied from the perspective of structure-function relationships, often neglecting the important role of the bulk membrane properties on the PFT mechanism of action. In this Account, we discuss how membrane lateral heterogeneity, thickness, and fluidity influence the pore forming process of PFTs. In general, lipid molecules are more accessible for binding in fluid membranes due to steric reasons. When PFT specifically binds ordered domains, it usually recognizes a specific lipid distribution pattern, like sphingomyelin (SM) clusters or SM/cholesterol complexes, and not individual lipid species. Lipid domains were also suggested to act as an additional concentration platform facilitating PFT oligomerization, but this is yet to be shown. The last stage in PFT action is the insertion of the transmembrane segment across the membranes to build the transmembrane pore walls. Conformational changes are a spontaneous process, and sufficient free energy has to be available for efficient membrane penetration. Therefore, fluid bilayers are permeabilized more readily in comparison to highly ordered and thicker liquid ordered lipid phase (Lo). Energetically more costly insertion into the Lo phase can be driven by the hydrophobic mismatch between the thinner liquid disordered phase (Ld) and large protein complexes, which are unable to tilt like single transmembrane segments. In the case of proteolipid pores, membrane properties can directly modulate pore size, stability, and even selectivity. Finally

  14. Anomalous diffusion of proteins in sheared lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Khoshnood, Atefeh


    We use coarse grained molecular dynamics simulations to investigate diffusion properties of sheared lipid membranes with embedded transmembrane proteins. In membranes without proteins, we find normal in-plane diffusion of lipids in all flow conditions. Protein embedded membranes behave quite differently: by imposing a simple shear flow and sliding the monolayers of the membrane over each other, the motion of protein clusters becomes strongly superdiffusive in the shear direction. In such a circumstance, subdiffusion regime is predominant perpendicular to the flow. We show that superdiffusion is a result of accelerated chaotic motions of protein--lipid complexes within the membrane voids, which are generated by hydrophobic mismatch or the transport of lipids by proteins.

  15. Challenges in the theoretical investigations of lipid membrane configurations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tu Zhan-Chun


    We report some key results in the theoretical investigations of configurations of lipid membranes and present several challenges in this field,which involve (i) the exact solutions to the shape equation of lipid vesicles,(ii) the exact solutions to the governing equations of open lipid membranes,(iii) the neck condition of two-phase vesicles in the budding state,(iv)the nonlocal theory of membrane elasticity,and (v) the relationship between the symmetry and the magnitude of the free energy.

  16. Affinity of four polar neurotransmitters for lipid bilayer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Chunhua; Ye, Fengbin; Valardez, Gustavo F.


    interacts unfavorably with DMPC and is thus preferentially excluded from the membrane's hydration layer. Conversely, the zwitterionic neurotransmitters are attracted to membranes with 10% anionic lipid and their local concentration at the interface is 5-10 times larger than in the aqueous bulk....... The simulations suggest that this attraction mainly relies on electrostatic interactions of the amino group of the neurotransmitter and the lipid phosphate. We conclude that moderate attraction to lipid membranes occurs for some polar neurotransmitters and hence that one premise for a theory of bilayer...

  17. Nucleic acid-lipid membrane interactions studied by DSC. (United States)

    Giatrellis, Sarantis; Nounesis, George


    The interactions of nucleic acids with lipid membranes are of great importance for biological mechanisms as well as for biotechnological applications in gene delivery and drug carriers. The optimization of liposomal vectors for clinical use is absolutely dependent upon the formation mechanisms, the morphology, and the molecular organization of the lipoplexes, that is, the complexes of lipid membranes with DNA. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) has emerged as an efficient and relatively easy-to-operate experimental technique that can straightforwardly provide data related to the thermodynamics and the kinetics of the DNA-lipid complexation and especially to the lipid organization and phase transitions within the membrane. In this review, we summarize DSC studies considering nucleic acid-membrane systems, accentuating DSC capabilities, and data analysis. Published work involving cationic, anionic, and zwitterionic lipids as well as lipid mixtures interacting with RNA and DNA of different sizes and conformations are included. It is shown that despite limitations, issues such as DNA- or RNA-induced phase separation and microdomain lipid segregation, liposomal aggregation and fusion, alterations of the lipid long-range molecular order, as well as membrane-induced structural changes of the nucleic acids can be efficiently treated by systematic high-sensitivity DSC studies.

  18. Lipid membrane association of myelin proteins and peptide segments studied by oriented and synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy. (United States)

    Muruganandam, Gopinath; Bürck, Jochen; Ulrich, Anne S; Kursula, Inari; Kursula, Petri


    Myelin-specific proteins are either integral or peripheral membrane proteins that, in complex with lipids, constitute a multilayered proteolipid membrane system, the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath surrounds the axons of nerves and enables rapid conduction of axonal impulses. Myelin proteins interact intimately with the lipid bilayer and play crucial roles in the assembly, function, and stability of the myelin sheath. Although myelin proteins have been investigated for decades, their structural properties upon membrane surface binding are still largely unknown. In this study, we have used simplified model systems consisting of synthetic peptides and membrane mimics, such as detergent micelles and/or lipid vesicles, to probe the conformation of peptides using synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy (SRCD). Additionally, oriented circular dichroism spectroscopy (OCD) was employed to examine the orientation of myelin peptides in macroscopically aligned lipid bilayers. Various representative peptides from the myelin basic protein (MBP), P0, myelin/oligodencrocyte glycoprotein, and connexin32 (cx32) were studied. A helical peptide from the central immunodominant epitope of MBP showed a highly tilted orientation with respect to the membrane surface, whereas the N-terminal cytoplasmic segment of cx32 folded into a helical structure that was only slightly tilted. The folding of full-length myelin basic protein was, furthermore, studied in a bicelle environment. Our results provide information on the conformation and membrane alignment of important membrane-binding peptides in a membrane-mimicking environment, giving novel insights into the mechanisms of membrane binding and stacking by myelin proteins.

  19. Membrane curvature enables N-Ras lipid anchor sorting to liquid-ordered membrane phases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jannik Bruun; Jensen, Martin Borch; Bhatia, Vikram Kjøller;


    Trafficking and sorting of membrane-anchored Ras GTPases are regulated by partitioning between distinct membrane domains. Here, in vitro experiments and microscopic molecular theory reveal membrane curvature as a new modulator of N-Ras lipid anchor and palmitoyl chain partitioning. Membrane...... curvature was essential for enrichment in raft-like liquid-ordered phases; enrichment was driven by relief of lateral pressure upon anchor insertion and most likely affects the localization of lipidated proteins in general....

  20. Hybrid and nonhybrid lipids exert common effects on membrane raft size and morphology. (United States)

    Heberle, Frederick A; Doktorova, Milka; Goh, Shih Lin; Standaert, Robert F; Katsaras, John; Feigenson, Gerald W


    Nanometer-scale domains in cholesterol-rich model membranes emulate lipid rafts in cell plasma membranes (PMs). The physicochemical mechanisms that maintain a finite, small domain size are, however, not well understood. A special role has been postulated for chain-asymmetric or hybrid lipids having a saturated sn-1 chain and an unsaturated sn-2 chain. Hybrid lipids generate nanodomains in some model membranes and are also abundant in the PM. It was proposed that they align in a preferred orientation at the boundary of ordered and disordered phases, lowering the interfacial energy and thus reducing domain size. We used small-angle neutron scattering and fluorescence techniques to detect nanoscopic and modulated liquid phase domains in a mixture composed entirely of nonhybrid lipids and cholesterol. Our results are indistinguishable from those obtained previously for mixtures containing hybrid lipids, conclusively showing that hybrid lipids are not required for the formation of nanoscopic liquid domains and strongly implying a common mechanism for the overall control of raft size and morphology. We discuss implications of these findings for theoretical descriptions of nanodomains.

  1. Hybrid and Nonhybrid Lipids Exert Common Effects on Membrane Raft Size and Morphology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heberle, Frederick A [ORNL; Doktorova, Milka [Cornell University; Goh, Shih Lin [Cornell University; Standaert, Robert F [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Feigenson, Gerald [Cornell University


    Nanometer-scale domains in cholesterolrich model membranes emulate lipid rafts in cell plasma membranes (PMs). The physicochemical mechanisms that maintain a finite, small domain size are, however, not well understood. A special role has been postulated for chainasymmetric or hybrid lipids having a saturated sn-1 chain and an unsaturated sn-2 chain. Hybrid lipids generate nanodomains in some model membranes and are also abundant in the PM. It was proposed that they align in a preferred orientation at the boundary of ordered and disordered phases, lowering the interfacial energy and thus reducing domain size. We used small-angle neutron scattering and fluorescence techniques to detect nanoscopic and modulated liquid phase domains in a mixture composed entirely of nonhybrid lipids and cholesterol. Our results are indistinguishable from those obtained previously for mixtures containing hybrid lipids, conclusively showing that hybrid lipids are not required for the formation of nanoscopic liquid domains and strongly implying a common mechanism for the overall control of raft size and morphology. We discuss implications of these findings for theoretical descriptions of nanodomains.

  2. Chain ordering of hybrid lipids can stabilize domains in saturated/hybrid/cholesterol lipid membranes (United States)

    Yamamoto, T.; Brewster, R.; Safran, S. A.


    We use a liquid-crystal model to predict that hybrid lipids (lipids that have one saturated and one unsaturated tail) can stabilize line interfaces between domains in mixed membranes of saturated lipids, hybrid lipids, and cholesterol (SHC membranes). The model predicts the phase separation of SHC membranes with both parabolic and loop binodals depending on the cholesterol concentration, modeled via an effective pressure. In some cases, the hybrid lipids can reduce the line tension to zero in SHC membranes at temperatures that approach the critical temperature as the pressure is increased. The differences in the hybrid saturated tail conformational order in bulk and at the interface are responsible for the reduction of the line tension.

  3. Differential Effect of Plant Lipids on Membrane Organization (United States)

    Grosjean, Kevin; Mongrand, Sébastien; Beney, Laurent; Simon-Plas, Françoise; Gerbeau-Pissot, Patricia


    The high diversity of the plant lipid mixture raises the question of their respective involvement in the definition of membrane organization. This is particularly the case for plant plasma membrane, which is enriched in specific lipids, such as free and conjugated forms of phytosterols and typical phytosphingolipids, such as glycosylinositolphosphoceramides. This question was here addressed extensively by characterizing the order level of membrane from vesicles prepared using various plant lipid mixtures and labeled with an environment-sensitive probe. Fluorescence spectroscopy experiments showed that among major phytosterols, campesterol exhibits a stronger ability than β-sitosterol and stigmasterol to order model membranes. Multispectral confocal microscopy, allowing spatial analysis of membrane organization, demonstrated accordingly the strong ability of campesterol to promote ordered domain formation and to organize their spatial distribution at the membrane surface. Conjugated sterol forms, alone and in synergy with free sterols, exhibit a striking ability to order membrane. Plant sphingolipids, particularly glycosylinositolphosphoceramides, enhanced the sterol-induced ordering effect, emphasizing the formation and increasing the size of sterol-dependent ordered domains. Altogether, our results support a differential involvement of free and conjugated phytosterols in the formation of ordered domains and suggest that the diversity of plant lipids, allowing various local combinations of lipid species, could be a major contributor to membrane organization in particular through the formation of sphingolipid-sterol interacting domains. PMID:25575593

  4. Glycans pattern the phase behaviour of lipid membranes (United States)

    Subramaniam, Anand Bala; Guidotti, Guido; Manoharan, Vinothan N.; Stone, Howard A.


    Hydrated networks of glycans (polysaccharides)—in the form of cell walls, periplasms or gel-like matrices—are ubiquitously present adjacent to cellular plasma membranes. Yet, despite their abundance, the function of glycans in the extracellular milieu is largely unknown. Here we show that the spatial configuration of glycans controls the phase behaviour of multiphase model lipid membranes: inhomogeneous glycan networks stabilize large lipid domains at the characteristic length scale of the network, whereas homogeneous networks suppress macroscopic lipid phase separation. We also find that glycan-patterned phase separation is thermally reversible—thus indicating that the effect is thermodynamic rather than kinetic—and that phase patterning probably results from a preferential interaction of glycans with ordered lipid phases. These findings have implications for membrane-mediated transport processes, potentially rationalize long-standing observations that differentiate the behaviour of native and model membranes and may indicate an intimate coupling between cellular lipidomes and glycomes.

  5. Designing lipids for selective partitioning into liquid ordered membrane domains. (United States)

    Momin, Noor; Lee, Stacey; Gadok, Avinash K; Busch, David J; Bachand, George D; Hayden, Carl C; Stachowiak, Jeanne C; Sasaki, Darryl Y


    Self-organization of lipid molecules into specific membrane phases is key to the development of hierarchical molecular assemblies that mimic cellular structures. While the packing interaction of the lipid tails should provide the major driving force to direct lipid partitioning to ordered or disordered membrane domains, numerous examples show that the headgroup and spacer play important but undefined roles. We report here the development of several new biotinylated lipids that examine the role of spacer chemistry and structure on membrane phase partitioning. The new lipids were prepared with varying lengths of low molecular weight polyethylene glycol (EGn) spacers to examine how spacer hydrophilicity and length influence their partitioning behavior following binding with FITC-labeled streptavidin in liquid ordered (Lo) and liquid disordered (Ld) phase coexisting membranes. Partitioning coefficients (Kp Lo/Ld) of the biotinylated lipids were determined using fluorescence measurements in studies with giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). Compared against DPPE-biotin, DPPE-cap-biotin, and DSPE-PEG2000-biotin lipids, the new dipalmityl-EGn-biotin lipids exhibited markedly enhanced partitioning into liquid ordered domains, achieving Kp of up to 7.3 with a decaethylene glycol spacer (DP-EG10-biotin). We further demonstrated biological relevance of the lipids with selective partitioning to lipid raft-like domains observed in giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) derived from mammalian cells. Our results found that the spacer group not only plays a pivotal role for designing lipids with phase selectivity but may also influence the structural order of the domain assemblies.

  6. Lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids in dividing Xenopus eggs


    de Laat, S W; Tetteroo, P.A.T.; Bluemink, J.G.; Dictus, W.J.A.G.; Zoelen, E.J.J. van


    The lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids was analyzed during first cleavage of Xaopus Levis eggs by fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR) measurements, using the lipid analogs 5-(N-hexadecanoyl)aminofluorescein (“HEDAF”) and 5-(N-tetradecanoyl)aminofluorescein (“TEDAF”) as probes. The preexisting plasma membrane of the animal side showed an inhomogeneous, dotted fluorescence pattern after labeling and the lateral mobility of both probes used was below the detection limits of the FP...

  7. Atomistic study of lipid membranes containing chloroform: looking for a lipid-mediated mechanism of anesthesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramon Reigada

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanism of general anesthesia is still a controversial issue. Direct effect by linking of anesthetics to proteins and indirect action on the lipid membrane properties are the two hypotheses in conflict. Atomistic simulations of different lipid membranes subjected to the effect of small volatile organohalogen compounds are used to explore plausible lipid-mediated mechanisms. Simulations of homogeneous membranes reveal that electrostatic potential and lateral pressure transversal profiles are affected differently by chloroform (anesthetic and carbon tetrachloride (non-anesthetic. Simulations of structured membranes that combine ordered and disordered regions show that chloroform molecules accumulate preferentially in highly disordered lipid domains, suggesting that the combination of both lateral and transversal partitioning of chloroform in the cell membrane could be responsible of its anesthetic action.

  8. Non-Brownian diffusion in lipid membranes: Experiments and simulations. (United States)

    Metzler, R; Jeon, J-H; Cherstvy, A G


    The dynamics of constituents and the surface response of cellular membranes-also in connection to the binding of various particles and macromolecules to the membrane-are still a matter of controversy in the membrane biophysics community, particularly with respect to crowded membranes of living biological cells. We here put into perspective recent single particle tracking experiments in the plasma membranes of living cells and supercomputing studies of lipid bilayer model membranes with and without protein crowding. Special emphasis is put on the observation of anomalous, non-Brownian diffusion of both lipid molecules and proteins embedded in the lipid bilayer. While single component, pure lipid bilayers in simulations exhibit only transient anomalous diffusion of lipid molecules on nanosecond time scales, the persistence of anomalous diffusion becomes significantly longer ranged on the addition of disorder-through the addition of cholesterol or proteins-and on passing of the membrane lipids to the gel phase. Concurrently, experiments demonstrate the anomalous diffusion of membrane embedded proteins up to macroscopic time scales in the minute time range. Particular emphasis will be put on the physical character of the anomalous diffusion, in particular, the occurrence of ageing observed in the experiments-the effective diffusivity of the measured particles is a decreasing function of time. Moreover, we present results for the time dependent local scaling exponent of the mean squared displacement of the monitored particles. Recent results finding deviations from the commonly assumed Gaussian diffusion patterns in protein crowded membranes are reported. The properties of the displacement autocorrelation function of the lipid molecules are discussed in the light of their appropriate physical anomalous diffusion models, both for non-crowded and crowded membranes. In the last part of this review we address the upcoming field of membrane distortion by elongated membrane

  9. Lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids in dividing Xenopus eggs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laat, S.W. de; Tetteroo, P.A.T.; Bluemink, J.G.; Dictus, W.J.A.G.; Zoelen, E.J.J. van


    The lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids was analyzed during first cleavage of Xaopus Levis eggs by fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR) measurements, using the lipid analogs 5-(N-hexadecanoyl)aminofluorescein (“HEDAF”) and 5-(N-tetradecanoyl)aminofluorescein (“TEDAF”) as probes. The pre

  10. Lipid rafts and detergent-resistant membranes in epithelial keratinocytes. (United States)

    McGuinn, Kathleen P; Mahoney, Mỹ G


    Our understanding of the plasma membrane has markedly increased since Singer and Nicolson proposed the fluid mosaic model in 1972. While their revolutionary theory of the lipid bilayer remains largely valid, it is now known that lipids and proteins are not randomly dispersed throughout the plasma membrane but instead may be organized within membrane microdomains, commonly referred to as lipid rafts. Lipid rafts are highly dynamic, detergent resistant, and enriched with both cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. The two main types are flotillin-rich planar lipid rafts and caveolin-rich caveolae. It is proposed that flotillin and caveolin proteins regulate cell communication by compartmentalizing and interacting with signal transduction proteins within their respective lipid microdomains. Consequently, membrane rafts play an important role in vital cellular functions including migration, invasion, and signaling; thus, alterations in their microenvironment can initiate signaling pathways that affect cellular function and behavior. Therefore, the identification of lipid rafts and their associated proteins is integral to the study of transmembrane signaling. Here, we review the current standard protocols and biochemical approaches used to isolate and define raft proteins from epithelial cells and tissues. Furthermore, in Section 3 of this chapter, detailed protocols are offered for isolating lipid rafts by subjection to detergent and sucrose density centrifugation, as well as an approach for selectively isolating caveolae. Methods to manipulate rafts with treatments such as methyl-β-cyclodextrin and flotillin III are also described.

  11. Aspirin Increases the Solubility of Cholesterol in Lipid Membranes (United States)

    Alsop, Richard; Barrett, Matthew; Zheng, Sonbo; Dies, Hannah; Rheinstadter, Maikel


    Aspirin (ASA) is often prescribed for patients with high levels of cholesterol for the secondary prevention of myocardial events, a regimen known as the Low-Dose Aspirin Therapy. We have recently shown that Aspirin partitions in lipid bilayers. However, a direct interplay between ASA and cholesterol has not been investigated. Cholesterol is known to insert itself into the membrane in a dispersed state at moderate concentrations (under ~37.5%) and decrease fluidity of membranes. We prepared model lipid membranes containing varying amounts of both ASA and cholesterol molecules. The structure of the bilayers as a function of ASA and cholesterol concentration was determined using high-resolution X-ray diffraction. At cholesterol levels of more than 40mol%, immiscible cholesterol plaques formed. Adding ASA to the membranes was found to dissolve the cholesterol plaques, leading to a fluid lipid bilayer structure. We present first direct evidence for an interaction between ASA and cholesterol on the level of the cell membrane.

  12. Undulation instability in a bilayer lipid membrane due to electric field interaction with lipid dipoles

    CERN Document Server

    Bingham, Richard J; Smye, Stephen W


    Bilayer lipid membranes [BLMs] are an essential component of all biological systems, forming a functional barrier for cells and organelles from the surrounding environment. The lipid molecules that form membranes contain both permanent and induced dipoles, and an electric field can induce the formation of pores when the transverse field is sufficiently strong (electroporation). Here, a phenomenological free energy is constructed to model the response of a BLM to a transverse static electric field. The model contains a continuum description of the membrane dipoles and a coupling between the headgroup dipoles and the membrane tilt. The membrane is found to become unstable through buckling modes, which are weakly coupled to thickness fluctuations in the membrane. The thickness fluctuations, along with the increase in interfacial area produced by membrane buckling, increase the probability of localized membrane breakdown, which may lead to pore formation. The instability is found to depend strongly on the strengt...

  13. Membrane Compartmentalization Reducing the Mobility of Lipids and Proteins within a Model Plasma Membrane. (United States)

    Koldsø, Heidi; Reddy, Tyler; Fowler, Philip W; Duncan, Anna L; Sansom, Mark S P


    The cytoskeleton underlying cell membranes may influence the dynamic organization of proteins and lipids within the bilayer by immobilizing certain transmembrane (TM) proteins and forming corrals within the membrane. Here, we present coarse-grained resolution simulations of a biologically realistic membrane model of asymmetrically organized lipids and TM proteins. We determine the effects of a model of cytoskeletal immobilization of selected membrane proteins using long time scale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. By introducing compartments with varying degrees of restraints within the membrane models, we are able to reveal how compartmentalization caused by cytoskeletal immobilization leads to reduced and anomalous diffusional mobility of both proteins and lipids. This in turn results in a reduced rate of protein dimerization within the membrane and of hopping of membrane proteins between compartments. These simulations provide a molecular realization of hierarchical models often invoked to explain single-molecule imaging studies of membrane proteins.

  14. Lipid protrusions membrane softness, and enzymatic activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten Østergaard; Høyrup, P.; Callisen, T.H.;


    The activity of phospholipase A(2) on lipid bilayers displays a characteristic lag burst behavior that has previously been shown to reflect the physical properties of the substrate. It has remained unclear which underlying molecular mechanism is responsible for this phenomenon. We propose here...... that protrusions of single lipid molecules out of the bilayer plane could provide such a mechanism. The proposal is supported by a combination of atomic-scale molecular dynamics simulations, theory, and experiments that have been performed in order to investigate the relationship between on the one side lipid...... protrusion modes and mechanical softness of phospholipid bilayers and on the other side the activity of enzymes acting on lipid bilayers composed of different unsaturated lipids. Specifically, our experiments show a correlation between the bilayer bending rigidity and the apparent Arrhenius activation energy...

  15. Anthrax toxin-induced rupture of artificial lipid bilayer membranes (United States)

    Nablo, Brian J.; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Nguyen, Tam L.; Gussio, Rick; Ribot, Wil; Friedlander, Art; Chabot, Donald; Reiner, Joseph E.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Balijepalli, Arvind; Halverson, Kelly M.; Kasianowicz, John J.


    We demonstrate experimentally that anthrax toxin complexes rupture artificial lipid bilayer membranes when isolated from the blood of infected animals. When the solution pH is temporally acidified to mimic that process in endosomes, recombinant anthrax toxin forms an irreversibly bound complex, which also destabilizes membranes. The results suggest an alternative mechanism for the translocation of anthrax toxin into the cytoplasm.

  16. Concerted diffusion of lipids in raft-like membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Apajalahti, Touko; Niemela, Perttu; Govindan, Praveen Nedumpully; Miettinen, Markus S.; Salonen, Emppu; Marrink, Siewert-Jan; Vattulainen, Ilpo


    Currently, there is no comprehensive model for the dynamics of cellular membranes. The understanding of even the basic dynamic processes, such as lateral diffusion of lipids, is still quite limited. Recent studies of one-component membrane systems have shown that instead of single-particle motions,

  17. Lipids, membrane proteins and natural membranes studied by neutron scattering and diffraction: A review (United States)

    Zaccai, Giuseppe


    Diffraction first observed from myelin 50 years ago was correctly attributed to a fluid crystal of lipids, because similar patterns were observed from extracted lipid preparations. Following on more recent X-ray work which characterized a variety of lipid-water structures, neutron diffraction experiments have provided detailed descriptions of the molecular conformations in lipid bilayers. For a long time, however, the molecular structure of membrane proteins remained elusive and the development of detergents for the extraction of active membrane proteins, and the discovery of naturally crystalline purple membrane were important breakthroughs in this field. Structural parameters of membrane proteins solubilised in detergent have been measured by neutron scattering with contrast variation techniques. Purple membrane has been studied extensively by neutron diffraction. It is an excellent illustration of the use of deuterium labeling by different approaches to address specific questions of molecular structure. These studies are reviewed with a special emphasis on aspects which are applicable to membranes in general.

  18. Analysis of lipid-composition changes in plasma membrane microdomains. (United States)

    Ogiso, Hideo; Taniguchi, Makoto; Okazaki, Toshiro


    Sphingolipids accumulate in plasma membrane microdomain sites, such as caveolae or lipid rafts. Such microdomains are considered to be important nexuses for signal transduction, although changes in the microdomain lipid components brought about by signaling are poorly understood. Here, we applied a cationic colloidal silica bead method to analyze plasma membrane lipids from monolayer cells cultured in a 10 cm dish. The detergent-resistant fraction from the silica bead-coated membrane was analyzed by LC-MS/MS to evaluate the microdomain lipids. This method revealed that glycosphingolipids composed the microdomains as a substitute for sphingomyelin (SM) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (tMEFs) from an SM synthase 1/2 double KO (DKO) mouse. The rate of formation of the detergent-resistant region was unchanged compared with that of WT-tMEFs. C2-ceramide (Cer) stimulation caused greater elevations in diacylglycerol and phosphatidic acid levels than in Cer levels within the microdomains of WT-tMEFs. We also found that lipid changes in the microdomains of SM-deficient DKO-tMEFs caused by serum stimulation occurred in the same manner as that of WT-tMEFs. This practical method for analyzing membrane lipids will facilitate future comprehensive analyses of membrane microdomain-associated responses.

  19. Plasma membrane lipids and their role in fungal virulence. (United States)

    Rella, Antonella; Farnoud, Amir M; Del Poeta, Maurizio


    There has been considerable evidence in recent years suggesting that plasma membrane lipids are important regulators of fungal pathogenicity. Various glycolipids have been shown to impart virulent properties in several fungal species, while others have been shown to play a role in host defense. In addition to their role as virulence factors, lipids also contribute to other virulence mechanisms such as drug resistance, biofilm formation, and release of extracellular vesicles. In addition, lipids also affect the mechanical properties of the plasma membrane through the formation of packed microdomains composed mainly of sphingolipids and sterols. Changes in the composition of lipid microdomains have been shown to disrupt the localization of virulence factors and affect fungal pathogenicity. This review gathers evidence on the various roles of plasma membrane lipids in fungal virulence and how lipids might contribute to the different processes that occur during infection and treatment. Insight into the role of lipids in fungal virulence can lead to an improved understanding of the process of fungal pathogenesis and the development of new lipid-mediated therapeutic strategies.

  20. The adrenal specific toxicant mitotane directly interacts with lipid membranes and alters membrane properties depending on lipid composition. (United States)

    Scheidt, Holger A; Haralampiev, Ivan; Theisgen, Stephan; Schirbel, Andreas; Sbiera, Silviu; Huster, Daniel; Kroiss, Matthias; Müller, Peter


    Mitotane (o,p'.-DDD) is an orphan drug approved for the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma. The mechanisms, which are responsible for this activity of the drug, are not completely understood. It can be hypothesized that an impact of mitotane is mediated by the interaction with cellular membranes. However, an interaction of mitotane with (lipid) membranes has not yet been investigated in detail. Here, we characterized the interaction of mitotane and its main metabolite o,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroacetic acid (o,p'-DDA) with lipid membranes by applying a variety of biophysical approaches of nuclear magnetic resonance, electron spin resonance, and fluorescence spectroscopy. We found that mitotane and o,p'-DDA bind to lipid membranes by inserting into the lipid-water interface of the bilayer. Mitotane but not o,p'-DDA directly causes a disturbance of bilayer structure leading to an increased permeability of the membrane for polar molecules. Mitotane induced alterations of the membrane integrity required the presence of phosphatidylethanolamine and/or cholesterol. Collectively, our data for the first time characterize the impact of mitotane on the lipid membrane structure and dynamics, which may contribute to a better understanding of specific mitotane effects and side effects.

  1. Stabilization of concentration fluctuations in mixed membranes by hybrid lipids (United States)

    Palmieri, Benoit; Safran, Samuel


    Finite-size domains have been observed at the surface of cells. These lipids ``rafts'' are stable nanodomains enriched in saturated lipids and cholesterol. While line tension favors macrodomains, one explanation for raft stabilization suggests that the membrane composition is tuned close to a spinodal temperature. From this point of view, rafts are long-lived concentration fluctuations in the mixed phase. We propose a ternary mixture model for the cell membrane that includes hybrid lipids which have one saturated and one unsaturated hydrocarbon chain. Finite amount of hybrid lipids reduces the packing incompatibility at the saturated/unsaturated lipid interface and stabilizes the concentration fluctuations. Hybrid-Hybrid interactions are included in the model and further increase the life-time of the rafts and decrease their length-scales. Moreover, the hybrid has extra orientational degrees of freedom that may lead to modulated phases.

  2. Phase state dependent current fluctuations in pure lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Wunderlich, B; Idzko, A-L; Keyser, U F; Wixforth, A; Myles, V M; Heimburg, T; Schneider, M F


    Current fluctuations in pure lipid membranes have been shown to occur under the influence of transmembrane electric fields (electroporation) as well as a result from structural rearrangements of the lipid bilayer during phase transition (soft perforation). We demonstrate that the ion permeability during lipid phase transition exhibits the same qualitative temperature dependence as the macroscopic heat capacity of a D15PC/DOPC vesicle suspension. Microscopic current fluctuations show distinct characteristics for each individual phase state. While current fluctuations in the fluid phase show spike-like behaviour of short time scales (~ 2ms) with a narrow amplitude distribution, the current fluctuations during lipid phase transition appear in distinct steps with time scales in the order of ~ 20ms. 1 We propose a theoretical explanation for the origin of time scales and permeability based on a linear relationship between lipid membrane susceptibilities and relaxation times in the vicinity of the phase transition.

  3. Tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs): interest and applications for biological membrane investigations. (United States)

    Rebaud, Samuel; Maniti, Ofelia; Girard-Egrot, Agnès P


    Biological membranes play a central role in the biology of the cell. They are not only the hydrophobic barrier allowing separation between two water soluble compartments but also a supra-molecular entity that has vital structural functions. Notably, they are involved in many exchange processes between the outside and inside cellular spaces. Accounting for the complexity of cell membranes, reliable models are needed to acquire current knowledge of the molecular processes occurring in membranes. To simplify the investigation of lipid/protein interactions, the use of biomimetic membranes is an approach that allows manipulation of the lipid composition of specific domains and/or the protein composition, and the evaluation of the reciprocal effects. Since the middle of the 80's, lipid bilayer membranes have been constantly developed as models of biological membranes with the ultimate goal to reincorporate membrane proteins for their functional investigation. In this review, after a brief description of the planar lipid bilayers as biomimetic membrane models, we will focus on the construction of the tethered Bilayer Lipid Membranes, the most promising model for efficient membrane protein reconstitution and investigation of molecular processes occurring in cell membranes.

  4. Edelfosine and miltefosine effects on lipid raft properties: membrane biophysics in cell death by antitumor lipids. (United States)

    Castro, Bruno M; Fedorov, Aleksander; Hornillos, Valentin; Delgado, Javier; Acuña, A Ulises; Mollinedo, Faustino; Prieto, Manuel


    Edelfosine (1-O-octadecyl-2-O-methyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine) and miltefosine (hexadecylphosphocholine) are synthetic alkylphospholipids (ALPs) that are reported to selectively accumulate in tumor cell membranes, inducing Fas clustering and activation on lipid rafts, triggering apoptosis. However, the exact mechanism by which these lipids elicit these events is still not fully understood. Recent studies propose that their mode of action might be related with alterations of lipid rafts biophysical properties caused by these lipid drugs. To achieve a clear understanding of this mechanism, we studied the effects of pharmacologically relevant amounts of edelfosine and miltefosine in the properties of model and cellular membranes. The influence of these molecules on membrane order, lateral organization, and lipid rafts molar fraction and size were studied by steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence methods, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), confocal and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). We found that the global membrane and lipid rafts biophysical properties of both model and cellular membranes were not significantly affected by both the ALPs. Nonetheless, in model membranes, a mild increase in membrane fluidity induced by both alkyl lipids was detected, although this effect was more noticeable for edelfosine than miltefosine. This absence of drastic alterations shows for the first time that ALPs mode of action is unlikely to be directly linked to alterations of lipid rafts biophysical properties caused by these drugs. The biological implications of this result are discussed in the context of ALPs effects on lipid metabolism, mitochondria homeostasis modulation, and their relationship with tumor cell death.

  5. Construction of higher-ordered monolayer membranes derived from archaeal membrane lipid-inspired cyclic lipids with longer alkyl chains. (United States)

    Nakamura, Makoto; Goto, Rie; Tadokoro, Toshio; Shibakami, Motonari


    A series of artificial cyclic lipids that mimic archaeal membrane ones has been synthesized. The structural features of these molecules include a longer cyclic framework, in which the alkyl chain length ranges from 24 to 32 in carbon number, which is longer than our first analogous molecule with 20-carbon long alkyl chains [K. Miyawaki, T. Takagi, M. Shibakami, Synlett 8 (2002) 1326]. Microscopic observation reveals that these molecules have a self-assembling ability: hydration of the lipids yields multilamellar vesicles in aqueous solution and monolayer sheets on solid supports. High-sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry (24- and 28-carbon alkyl chain lipids) indicates that (i) the alkyl chain length affects their phase behavior and (ii) the enthalpies of endothermic peaks accompanied by phase transition were considerably lower than those of their monomeric phospholipid analogs. Fluorescence polarization measurements suggest that the membranes made from the 24-carbon alkyl chain lipid have a higher polarization factor than membranes composed of DMPC and DMPC plus cholesterol. These findings imply that the cyclic lipids containing 24- and 28-carbon alkyl chain construct well-organized monolayer membranes and, in particular, that the molecular order of the 24-carbon alkyl chain lipid is higher than that of bilayer membranes in the liquid-ordered phase.

  6. Ceramides in the skin lipid membranes: length matters. (United States)

    Skolová, Barbora; Janůšová, Barbora; Zbytovská, Jarmila; Gooris, Gert; Bouwstra, Joke; Slepička, Petr; Berka, Pavel; Roh, Jaroslav; Palát, Karel; Hrabálek, Alexandr; Vávrová, Kateřina


    Ceramides are essential constituents of the skin barrier that allow humans to live on dry land. Reduced levels of ceramides have been associated with skin diseases, e.g., atopic dermatitis. However, the structural requirements and mechanisms of action of ceramides are not fully understood. Here, we report the effects of ceramide acyl chain length on the permeabilities and biophysics of lipid membranes composed of ceramides (or free sphingosine), fatty acids, cholesterol, and cholesterol sulfate. Short-chain ceramides increased the permeability of the lipid membranes compared to a long-chain ceramide with maxima at 4-6 carbons in the acyl. By a combination of differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Langmuir monolayers, and atomic force microscopy, we found that the reason for this effect in short ceramides was a lower proportion of tight orthorhombic packing and phase separation of continuous short ceramide-enriched domains with shorter lamellar periodicity compared to native long ceramides. Thus, long acyl chains in ceramides are essential for the formation of tightly packed impermeable lipid lamellae. Moreover, the model skin lipid membranes are a valuable tool to study the relationships between the lipid structure and composition, lipid organization, and the membrane permeability.

  7. Inducing morphological changes in lipid bilayer membranes with microfabricated substrates (United States)

    Liu, Fangjie; Collins, Liam F.; Ashkar, Rana; Heberle, Frederick A.; Srijanto, Bernadeta R.; Collier, C. Patrick


    Lateral organization of lipids and proteins into distinct domains and anchoring to a cytoskeleton are two important strategies employed by biological membranes to carry out many cellular functions. However, these interactions are difficult to emulate with model systems. Here we use the physical architecture of substrates consisting of arrays of micropillars to systematically control the behavior of supported lipid bilayers - an important step in engineering model lipid membrane systems with well-defined functionalities. Competition between attractive interactions of supported lipid bilayers with the underlying substrate versus the energy cost associated with membrane bending at pillar edges can be systematically investigated as functions of pillar height and pitch, chemical functionalization of the microstructured substrate, and the type of unilamellar vesicles used for assembling the supported bilayer. Confocal fluorescent imaging and AFM measurements highlight correlations that exist between topological and mechanical properties of lipid bilayers and lateral lipid mobility in these confined environments. This study provides a baseline for future investigations into lipid domain reorganization on structured solid surfaces and scaffolds for cell growth.

  8. Laurdan fluorescence senses mechanical strain in the lipid bilayer membrane. (United States)

    Zhang, Yan-Liang; Frangos, John A; Chachisvilis, Mirianas


    The precise molecular mechanisms by which cells transduce a mechanical stimulus into an intracellular biochemical response have not yet been established. Here, we show for the first time that the fluorescence emission of an environment-sensitive membrane probe Laurdan is modulated by mechanical strain of the lipid bilayer membrane. We have measured fluorescence emission of Laurdan in phospholipid vesicles of 30, 50, and 100 nm diameter to show that osmotically induced membrane tension leads to an increase in polarity (hydration depth) of the phospholipid bilayer interior. Our data indicate that the general polarization of Laurdan emission is linearly dependent on membrane tension. We also show that higher membrane curvature leads to higher hydration levels. We anticipate that the proposed method will facilitate future studies of mechanically induced changes in physical properties of lipid bilayer environment both in vitro and in vivo.

  9. Lipid nanotechnologies for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins. (United States)

    Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla; Grushin, Kirill; Dalm, Daniela; Miller, Jaimy


    We present a methodology of lipid nanotubes (LNT) and nanodisks technologies optimized in our laboratory for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins at close to physiological conditions. The application of these lipid nanotechnologies for structure determination by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is fundamental for understanding and modulating their function. The LNTs in our studies are single bilayer galactosylceramide based nanotubes of ∼20 nm inner diameter and a few microns in length, that self-assemble in aqueous solutions. The lipid nanodisks (NDs) are self-assembled discoid lipid bilayers of ∼10 nm diameter, which are stabilized in aqueous solutions by a belt of amphipathic helical scaffold proteins. By combining LNT and ND technologies, we can examine structurally how the membrane curvature and lipid composition modulates the function of the membrane-associated proteins. As proof of principle, we have engineered these lipid nanotechnologies to mimic the activated platelet's phosphtaidylserine rich membrane and have successfully assembled functional membrane-bound coagulation factor VIII in vitro for structure determination by cryo-EM. The macromolecular organization of the proteins bound to ND and LNT are further defined by fitting the known atomic structures within the calculated three-dimensional maps. The combination of LNT and ND technologies offers a means to control the design and assembly of a wide range of functional membrane-associated proteins and complexes for structural studies by cryo-EM. The presented results confirm the suitability of the developed methodology for studying the functional structure of membrane-associated proteins, such as the coagulation factors, at a close to physiological environment.

  10. Modeling the Elastic Properties of Lipid Bilayer Membranes (United States)

    Barry, Edward; Gibaud, Thomas; Zakhary, Mark; Dogic, Zvonimir


    Model membranes such as lipid bilayers have been indispensable tools for our understanding of the elastic properties of biological membranes. In this talk, I will introduce a colloidal model for membranes and demonstrate that the physical properties of these colloidal membranes are identical to lipid bilayers. The model system is unique in that the constituent molecules are homogenous and non-amphiphilic, yet their self-assembly into membranes and other hierarchical assemblages, such as a lamellar type phases and chiral ribbons, proceeds spontaneously in solution. Owing to the large size of the constituent molecules, individual molecules can be directly visualized and simultaneous observations at the continuum and molecular lengthscales are used to characterize the behavior of model membranes with unprecedented detail. Moreover, once assembled in solution, molecular interactions can be controlled in situ. In particular, the strength of chiral interactions can be varied, leading to fascinating transitions in behavior that resembles the formation of starfish vesicles. These observations point towards the important role of line tension, and have potential implications for phase separated lipid mixtures or lipid rafts.

  11. EDTA-induced Membrane Fluidization and Destabilization: Biophysical Studies on Artificial Lipid Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    The molecular mechanism of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-induced membrane destabilization has been studied using a combination of four biophysical techniques on artificial lipid membranes.Data from Langmuir film balance and epifluorescence microscopy revealed the fluidization and expansion effect of EDTA on phase behavior of monolayers of either 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) or mixtures of DPPC and metal-chelating lipids, such as Nα,Nα-Bis[carboxymethyl]-Nε-[(dioctadecylamino)succinyl]-L-lysine or 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-[N-(5-amino- 1-carboxypentyl iminodiacetic acid) succinyl]. A plausible explanation could be drawn from the electrostatic interaction between negatively charged groups of EDTA and the positively charged choline head group of DPPC.Intercalation of EDTA into the lipid membrane induced membrane curvature as elucidated by atomic force microscopy. Growth in size and shape of the membrane protrusion was found to be time-dependent upon exposure to EDTA. Further loss of material from the lipid membrane surface was monitored in real time using a quartz crystal microbalance. This indicates membrane restabilization by exclusion of the protrusions from the surface. Loss of lipid components facilitates membrane instability, leading to membrane permeabilization and lysis.

  12. EDTA-induced membrane fluidization and destabilization: biophysical studies on artificial lipid membranes. (United States)

    Prachayasittikul, Virapong; Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya, Chartchalerm; Tantimongcolwat, Tanawut; Nantasenamat, Chanin; Galla, Hans-Joachim


    The molecular mechanism of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-induced membrane destabilization has been studied using a combination of four biophysical techniques on artificial lipid membranes. Data from Langmuir film balance and epifluorescence microscopy revealed the fluidization and expansion effect of EDTA on phase behavior of monolayers of either 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) or mixtures of DPPC and metal-chelating lipids, such as N(alpha),N(alpha)-Bis[carboxymethyl]-N(epsilon)-[(dioctadecylamino)succinyl]-L-lysine or 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-[N-(5-amino-1-carboxypentyl iminodiacetic acid) succinyl]. A plausible explanation could be drawn from the electrostatic interaction between negatively charged groups of EDTA and the positively charged choline head group of DPPC. Intercalation of EDTA into the lipid membrane induced membrane curvature as elucidated by atomic force microscopy. Growth in size and shape of the membrane protrusion was found to be time-dependent upon exposure to EDTA. Further loss of material from the lipid membrane surface was monitored in real time using a quartz crystal microbalance. This indicates membrane restabilization by exclusion of the protrusions from the surface. Loss of lipid components facilitates membrane instability, leading to membrane permeabilization and lysis.

  13. Selective Interaction of a Cationic Polyfluorene with Model Lipid Membranes: Anionic versus Zwitterionic Lipids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zehra Kahveci


    Full Text Available This paper explores the interaction mechanism between the conjugated polyelectrolyte {[9,9-bis(6'-N,N,N-trimethylammoniumhexyl]fluorene-phenylene}bromide (HTMA-PFP and model lipid membranes. The study was carried out using different biophysical techniques, mainly fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy. Results show that despite the preferential interaction of HTMA-PFP with anionic lipids, HTMA-PFP shows affinity for zwitterionic lipids; although the interaction mechanism is different as well as HTMA-PFP’s final membrane location. Whilst the polyelectrolyte is embedded within the lipid bilayer in the anionic membrane, it remains close to the surface, forming aggregates that are sensitive to the physical state of the lipid bilayer in the zwitterionic system. The different interaction mechanism is reflected in the polyelectrolyte fluorescence spectrum, since the maximum shifts to longer wavelengths in the zwitterionic system. The intrinsic fluorescence of HTMA-PFP was used to visualize the interaction between polymer and vesicles via fluorescence microscopy, thanks to its high quantum yield and photostability. This technique allows the selectivity of the polyelectrolyte and higher affinity for anionic membranes to be observed. The results confirmed the appropriateness of using HTMA-PFP as a membrane fluorescent marker and suggest that, given its different behaviour towards anionic and zwitterionic membranes, HTMA-PFP could be used for selective recognition and imaging of bacteria over mammalian cells.

  14. Plant lipid environment and membrane enzymes: the case of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase. (United States)

    Morales-Cedillo, Francisco; González-Solís, Ariadna; Gutiérrez-Angoa, Lizbeth; Cano-Ramírez, Dora Luz; Gavilanes-Ruiz, Marina


    Several lipid classes constitute the universal matrix of the biological membranes. With their amphipathic nature, lipids not only build the continuous barrier that confers identity to every cell and organelle, but they are also active actors that modulate the activity of the proteins immersed in the lipid bilayer. The plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase, an enzyme from plant cells, is an excellent example of a transmembrane protein whose activity is influenced by the hydrophilic compartments at both sides of the membrane and by the hydrophobic domains of the lipid bilayer. As a result, an extensive documentation of the effect of numerous amphiphiles in the enzyme activity can be found. Detergents, membrane glycerolipids, and sterols can produce activation or inhibition of the enzyme activity. In some cases, these effects are associated with the lipids of the membrane bulk, but in others, a direct interaction of the lipid with the protein is involved. This review gives an account of reports related to the action of the membrane lipids on the H(+)-ATPase activity.

  15. Pressure effects on lipids and bio-membrane assemblies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J. Brooks


    Full Text Available Membranes are amongst the most important biological structures; they maintain the fundamental integrity of cells, compartmentalize regions within them and play an active role in a wide range of cellular processes. Pressure can play a key role in probing the structure and dynamics of membrane assemblies, and is also critical to the biology and adaptation of deep-sea organisms. This article presents an overview of the effect of pressure on the mesostructure of lipid membranes, bilayer organization and lipid–protein assemblies. It also summarizes recent developments in high-pressure structural instrumentation suitable for experiments on membranes.

  16. The surface charge of a cell lipid membrane

    CERN Document Server

    Pekker, M


    In this paper the problem of surface charge of the lipid membrane is considered. It is shown that the membrane surface is negatively charged. Negative ions are in potential wells formed by the dipole heads of membrane phospholipids. The binding energy of the ion with the membrane surface is much greater than its thermal energy. A self-consistent model of the potential in solution is developed, and a stationary charge density on the membrane surface is found. The estimates given in the paper show that the potential difference across the membrane of the unexcited axon (resting potential) can be explained by the difference in surface densities of the bound charges on the inner and outer surfaces of the membrane.

  17. Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson


    Full Text Available Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties.

  18. Super-resolution optical microscopy of lipid plasma membrane dynamics. (United States)

    Eggeling, Christian


    Plasma membrane dynamics are an important ruler of cellular activity, particularly through the interaction and diffusion dynamics of membrane-embedded proteins and lipids. FCS (fluorescence correlation spectroscopy) on an optical (confocal) microscope is a popular tool for investigating such dynamics. Unfortunately, its full applicability is constrained by the limited spatial resolution of a conventional optical microscope. The present chapter depicts the combination of optical super-resolution STED (stimulated emission depletion) microscopy with FCS, and why it is an important tool for investigating molecular membrane dynamics in living cells. Compared with conventional FCS, the STED-FCS approach demonstrates an improved possibility to distinguish free from anomalous molecular diffusion, and thus to give new insights into lipid-protein interactions and the traditional lipid 'raft' theory.

  19. Equilibrium Configurations of Lipid Bilayer Membranes and Carbon Nanostructures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Iva(i)lo M.Mladenov; Peter A.Djondjorov; Mariana Ts.Hadzhilazova; Vassil M.Vassilev


    The present article concerns the continuum modelling of the mechanical behaviour and equilibrium shapes of two types of nano-scale objects:fluid lipid bilayer membranes and carbon nanostructures.A unified continuum model is used to handle four different case studies.Two of them consist in representing in analytic form cylindrical and axisymmetric equilibrium configurations of single-wall carbon nanotubes and fluid lipid bilayer membranes subjected to uniform hydrostatic pressure.The third one is concerned with determination of possible shapes of junctions between a single-wall carbon nanotube and a fiat graphene sheet or another single-wall carbon nanotube.The last one deals with the mechanical behaviour of closed fluid lipid bilayer membranes (vesicles) adhering onto a fiat homogeneous rigid substrate subjected to micro-injection and uniform hydrostatic pressure.

  20. Perfluorooctanoic acid rigidifies a model lipid membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brüning, B.A.; Farago, B.


    We report a combined dynamic light scattering and neutron spin-echo (NSE) study on vesicles composed of the phospholipid 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine under the influence of varying amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid. We study local lipid bilayer undulations using NSE on time scale

  1. Triglyceride Blisters in Lipid Bilayers: Implications for Lipid Droplet Biogenesis and the Mobile Lipid Signal in Cancer Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khandelia, Himanshu; Duelund, Lars; Pakkanen, Kirsi Inkeri;


    aggregates of unknown function present in malignant cells, and to the early biogenesis of lipid droplets accommodated between the two leaflets of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. The TO aggregates give the bilayer a blister-like appearance, and will hinder the formation of multi-lamellar phases in model......, and possibly living membranes. The blisters will result in anomalous membrane probe partitioning, which should be accounted for in the interpretation of probe-related measurements....

  2. Lipid signalling dynamics at the β-cell plasma membrane. (United States)

    Wuttke, Anne


    Pancreatic β-cells are clustered in islets of Langerhans and secrete insulin in response to increased concentrations of circulating glucose. Insulin in turn acts on liver, muscle and fat tissue to store energy and normalize the blood glucose level. Inappropriate insulin release may lead to impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes. In addition to glucose, other nutrients, neural stimuli and hormonal stimuli control insulin secretion. Many of these signals are perceived at the plasma membrane, which is also the site where insulin granules undergo exocytosis. Therefore, it is not surprising that membrane lipids play an important role in the regulation of insulin secretion. β-cells release insulin in a pulsatile fashion. Signalling lipids integrate the nutrient and neurohormonal inputs to fine-tune, shape and co-ordinate the pulsatility. An important group of signalling lipids are phosphoinositides and their downstream messengers. This MiniReview will discuss new insights into lipid signalling dynamics in β-cells obtained from live-cell imaging experiments with fluorescent translocation biosensors. The plasma membrane concentration of several phosphoinositides and of their downstream messengers changes rapidly upon nutrient or neurohormonal stimulation. Glucose induces the most complex spatio-temporal patterns, typically involving oscillations of messenger concentrations, which sometimes are locally restricted. The tightly controlled levels of lipid messengers can mediate specific binding of downstream effectors to the plasma membrane, contributing to the appropriate regulation of insulin secretion.

  3. Hybrid lipids increase nanoscale fluctuation lifetimes in mixed membranes (United States)

    Palmieri, Benoit; Safran, Samuel A.


    A recently proposed ternary mixture model is used to predict fluctuation domain lifetimes in the one phase region. The membrane is made of saturated, unsaturated, and hybrid lipids that have one saturated and one unsaturated hydrocarbon chain. The hybrid lipid is a natural linactant which can reduce the packing incompatibility between saturated and unsaturated lipids. The fluctuation lifetimes are predicted as a function of the hybrid lipid fraction and the fluctuation domain size. These lifetimes can be increased by up to three orders of magnitude compared to the case of no hybrids. With hybrid, small length scale fluctuations have sizable amplitudes even close to the critical temperature and, hence, benefit from enhanced critical slowing down. The increase in lifetime is particularly important for nanometer scale fluctuation domains where the hybrid orientation and the other lipids composition are highly coupled.

  4. The effect of electric fields on lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Vasilkoski, Z


    Contrary to existing theoretical models, experimental evidence points out that electroporation (membrane defect formation under external electric fields) starts to occur within the range of transmembrane voltages that cells may routinely experience, curiously, just above the range of transmembrane voltages involved in neural signal transmission. Understanding the underlying principles of electric fields-lipid membrane interactions seems to carry a great biological importance. An argument is presented toward understanding the theoretical aspects of electroporation by using the DLVO theory, which has not been recognized previously in the context of electroporation. Further, the dispersion interactions (with its quantum nature), of the double layer counterions and membrane lipid molecules over the Stern layer are emphasized. The sign of these forces is such that they compress the membrane. A parallel is drawn to the theory of thin films. The argument is that the external electric field breaks the symmetry of the...

  5. Stabilization of Lipid Membranes With Dendritic Polymers (United States)


    monolayer coverage was possible using the spin - coating procedure for concentrations of 10-5 w/w dendrimers in solution or lower. Higher coverages...The fluorescence intensity increased as coverage time before spin coating increased and as the dendrimer solution concentration increased (Fig...enhanced the adsorption of lipids to the substrate. Figure 7: Fluorescence intensity as a function of the PAMAM concentration used in the spin

  6. A Variational Approach to Particles in Lipid Membranes (United States)

    Elliott, Charles M.; Gräser, Carsten; Hobbs, Graham; Kornhuber, Ralf; Wolf, Maren-Wanda


    A variety of models for the membrane-mediated interaction of particles in lipid membranes, mostly well-established in theoretical physics, is reviewed from a mathematical perspective. We provide mathematically consistent formulations in a variational framework, relate apparently different modelling approaches in terms of successive approximation, and investigate existence and uniqueness. Numerical computations illustrate that the new variational formulations are directly accessible to effective numerical methods.

  7. Lipidic cubic phase injector facilitates membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography. (United States)

    Weierstall, Uwe; James, Daniel; Wang, Chong; White, Thomas A; Wang, Dingjie; Liu, Wei; Spence, John C H; Bruce Doak, R; Nelson, Garrett; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Grotjohann, Ingo; Kupitz, Christopher; Zatsepin, Nadia A; Liu, Haiguang; Basu, Shibom; Wacker, Daniel; Han, Gye Won; Katritch, Vsevolod; Boutet, Sébastien; Messerschmidt, Marc; Williams, Garth J; Koglin, Jason E; Marvin Seibert, M; Klinker, Markus; Gati, Cornelius; Shoeman, Robert L; Barty, Anton; Chapman, Henry N; Kirian, Richard A; Beyerlein, Kenneth R; Stevens, Raymond C; Li, Dianfan; Shah, Syed T A; Howe, Nicole; Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim


    Lipidic cubic phase (LCP) crystallization has proven successful for high-resolution structure determination of challenging membrane proteins. Here we present a technique for extruding gel-like LCP with embedded membrane protein microcrystals, providing a continuously renewed source of material for serial femtosecond crystallography. Data collected from sub-10-μm-sized crystals produced with less than 0.5 mg of purified protein yield structural insights regarding cyclopamine binding to the Smoothened receptor.

  8. Membrane protein crystallization in lipidic mesophases: detergent effects.


    Ai, X.; Caffrey, M.


    The "cubic phase method" for growing crystals of membrane proteins uses a complex mixture of water, lipid, protein, and other components. The current view is that the cubic phase is integral to the process. Thus additives from whatever source introduce the possibility of destabilizing the phase, thereby compromising the crystallization process. Detergents are used to solubilize membrane proteins and are likely to be ported into the cubic medium with the target protein. Depending on the identi...

  9. Interaction of pristine and functionalized carbon nanotubes with lipid membranes. (United States)

    Baoukina, Svetlana; Monticelli, Luca; Tieleman, D Peter


    Carbon nanotubes are widely used in a growing number of applications. Their interactions with biological materials, cell membranes in particular, is of interest in applications including drug delivery and for understanding the toxicity of carbon nanotubes. We use extensive molecular dynamics simulations with the MARTINI model to study the interactions of model nanotubes of different thickness, length, and patterns of chemical modification with model membranes. In addition, we characterize the interactions of small bundles of carbon nanotubes with membrane models. Short pristine carbon nanotubes readily insert into membranes and adopt an orientation parallel to the plane of the membrane in the center of the membrane. Larger aggregates and functionalized nanotubes exhibit a range of possible interactions. The distribution and orientation of carbon nanotubes can be controlled by functionalizing the nanotubes. Free energy calculations provide thermodynamic insight into the preferred orientations of different nanotubes and quantify structural defects in the lipid matrix.

  10. Structure alignment of membrane proteins: Accuracy of available tools and a consensus strategy. (United States)

    Stamm, Marcus; Forrest, Lucy R


    Protein structure alignment methods are used for the detection of evolutionary and functionally related positions in proteins. A wide array of different methods are available, but the choice of the best method is often not apparent to the user. Several studies have assessed the alignment accuracy and consistency of structure alignment methods, but none of these explicitly considered membrane proteins, which are important targets for drug development and have distinct structural features. Here, we compared 13 widely used pairwise structural alignment methods on a test set of homologous membrane protein structures (called HOMEP3). Each pair of structures was aligned and the corresponding sequence alignment was used to construct homology models. The model accuracy compared to the known structures was assessed using scoring functions not incorporated in the tested structural alignment methods. The analysis shows that fragment-based approaches such as FR-TM-align are the most useful for aligning structures of membrane proteins. Moreover, fragment-based approaches are more suitable for comparison of protein structures that have undergone large conformational changes. Nevertheless, no method was clearly superior to all other methods. Additionally, all methods lack a measure to rate the reliability of a position within a structure alignment. To solve both of these problems, we propose a consensus-type approach, combining alignments from four different methods, namely FR-TM-align, DaliLite, MATT, and FATCAT. Agreement between the methods is used to assign confidence values to each position of the alignment. Overall, we conclude that there remains scope for the improvement of structural alignment methods for membrane proteins.

  11. Effect of anesthetics on bending elasticity of lipid membranes (United States)

    Yi, Zheng; Michihiro, Nagao; Bossev, Dobrin


    Change in physical and chemical properties of bio-membranes is of great interest for understanding the mechanism of anesthetic action on membranes. Hypothetically the anesthetic alters the lipid membrane structure (promoting pore formation across membranes or at least switching transmembrane channels) and therefore the biophysical properties of the membrane. We have used neutron spin echo (NSE) spectroscopy to study the effect of anesthetic molecule, lidocaine, on the bending elasticity (BE) of lipid membranes. BE of lipid bilayers made of (1,2-Dimyristoyl-sn-Glycero-3-Phosphocholine) DMPC and 1,2-Dipalmitoyl-sn-Glycero-3-Phosphocholine (DPPC) have been measured at different temperatures and different in the fluid (Lα) phase. Using Zilman-Granek theory the BE were obtained from the decay of the NSE intermediate scattering function. We have found that in the presence of lidocaine the BE of DMPC and DPPC bilayers increases. The results were correlated with those from differential scanning calorimetry. Increase in the lidocaine concentration leads to decrease in the liquid/crystalline transition temperature.

  12. Proteomic Profiling of Detergent Resistant Membranes (Lipid Rafts) of Prostasomes. (United States)

    Dubois, Louise; Ronquist, Karl K Göran; Ek, Bo; Ronquist, Gunnar; Larsson, Anders


    Prostasomes are exosomes derived from prostate epithelial cells through exocytosis by multivesicular bodies. Prostasomes have a bilayered membrane and readily interact with sperm. The membrane lipid composition is unusual with a high contribution of sphingomyelin at the expense of phosphatidylcholine and saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are dominant. Lipid rafts are liquid-ordered domains that are more tightly packed than the surrounding nonraft phase of the bilayer. Lipid rafts are proposed to be highly dynamic, submicroscopic assemblies that float freely within the liquid disordered membrane bilayer and some proteins preferentially partition into the ordered raft domains. We asked the question whether lipid rafts do exist in prostasomes and, if so, which proteins might be associated with them. Prostasomes of density range 1.13-1.19g/ml were subjected to density gradient ultracentrifugation in sucrose fabricated by phosphate buffered saline (PBS) containing 1% Triton X-100 with capacity for banding at 1.10 g/ml, i.e. the classical density of lipid rafts. Prepared prostasomal lipid rafts (by gradient ultracentrifugation) were analyzed by mass spectrometry. The clearly visible band on top of 1.10g/ml sucrose in the Triton X-100 containing gradient was subjected to liquid chromatography-tandem MS and more than 370 lipid raft associated proteins were identified. Several of them were involved in intraluminal vesicle formation, e.g. tetraspanins, ESCRTs, and Ras-related proteins. This is the first comprehensive liquid chromatography-tandem MS profiling of proteins in lipid rafts derived from exosomes. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002163.

  13. Binding of Neurotransmitters to Lipid Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Günther H.J.; Werge, Mikkel; Elf-Lind, Maria Northved


    that dependent on the nature of NTs, some of the NTs penetrate into the bilayer. We found that membrane affinity can be ranked with increasing affinity as follows: ACH ~ GLU glycerol...... for the different NTs, this attraction is not an inherent property of all neurotransmitters....

  14. α-Synuclein senses lipid packing defects and induces lateral expansion of lipids leading to membrane remodeling. (United States)

    Ouberai, Myriam M; Wang, Juan; Swann, Marcus J; Galvagnion, Celine; Guilliams, Tim; Dobson, Christopher M; Welland, Mark E


    There is increasing evidence for the involvement of lipid membranes in both the functional and pathological properties of α-synuclein (α-Syn). Despite many investigations to characterize the binding of α-Syn to membranes, there is still a lack of understanding of the binding mode linking the properties of lipid membranes to α-Syn insertion into these dynamic structures. Using a combination of an optical biosensing technique and in situ atomic force microscopy, we show that the binding strength of α-Syn is related to the specificity of the lipid environment (the lipid chemistry and steric properties within a bilayer structure) and to the ability of the membranes to accommodate and remodel upon the interaction of α-Syn with lipid membranes. We show that this interaction results in the insertion of α-Syn into the region of the headgroups, inducing a lateral expansion of lipid molecules that can progress to further bilayer remodeling, such as membrane thinning and expansion of lipids out of the membrane plane. We provide new insights into the affinity of α-Syn for lipid packing defects found in vesicles of high curvature and in planar membranes with cone-shaped lipids and suggest a comprehensive model of the interaction between α-Syn and lipid bilayers. The ability of α-Syn to sense lipid packing defects and to remodel membrane structure supports its proposed role in vesicle trafficking.

  15. Stabilization of composition fluctuations in mixed membranes by hybrid lipids (United States)

    Safran, Samuel; Palmieri, Benoit


    A ternary mixture model is proposed to describe composition fluctuations in mixed membranes composed of saturated, unsaturated and hybrid lipids. The asymmetric hybrid lipid has one saturated and one unsaturated hydrocarbon chain and it can reduce the packing incompatibility between saturated and unsaturated lipids. A methodology to recast the free-energy of the lattice in terms of a continuous isotropic field theory is proposed and used to analyze composition fluctuations above the critical temperature. The effect of hybrid lipids on fluctuations domains rich in saturated/unsaturated lipids is predicted. The correlation length of such fluctuations decreases significantly with increasing amounts of hybrids even if the temperature is maintained close to the critical temperature. This provides an upper bound for the domain sizes expected in rafts stabilized by hybrids, above the critical temperature. When the hybrid composition of the membrane is increased further, a crossover value is found above which ``stripe-like'' fluctuations are observed. The wavelength of these fluctuations decreases with increasing hybrid fraction and tends toward a molecular size in a membrane that contains only hybrids.

  16. Morphologically Aligned Cation-Exchange Membranes by a Pulsed Electric Field for Reverse Electrodialysis. (United States)

    Lee, Ju-Young; Kim, Jae-Hun; Lee, Ju-Hyuk; Kim, Seok; Moon, Seung-Hyeon


    A low-resistance ion-exchange membrane is essential to achieve the high-performance energy conversion or storage systems. The formation methods for low-resistance membranes are various; one of the methods is the ion channel alignment of an ion-exchange membrane under a direct current (DC) electric field. In this study, we suggest a more effective alignment method than the process with the DC electric field. First, an ion-exchange membrane was prepared under a pulsed electric field [alternating current (AC) mode] to enhance the effectiveness of the alignment. The membrane properties and the performance in reverse electrodialysis (RED) were then examined to assess the membrane resistance and ion selectivity. The results show that the membrane electrical resistance (MER) had a lower value of 0.86 Ω cm(2) for the AC membrane than 2.13 Ω cm(2) observed for the DC membrane and 4.30 Ω cm(2) observed for the pristine membrane. Furthermore, RED achieved 1.34 W/m(2) of maximum power density for the AC membrane, whereas that for the DC membrane was found to be 1.14 W/m(2) [a RED stack assembled with CMX, used as a commercial cation-exchange membrane (CEM), showed 1.07 W/m(2)]. Thereby, the novel preparation process for a remarkable low-resistance membrane with high ion selectivity was demonstrated.

  17. An ER Protein Functionally Couples Neutral Lipid Metabolism on Lipid Droplets to Membrane Lipid Synthesis in the ER

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markgraf, Daniel F; Klemm, Robin W; Junker, Mirco;


    Eukaryotic cells store neutral lipids such as triacylglycerol (TAG) in lipid droplets (LDs). Here, we have addressed how LDs are functionally linked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We show that, in S. cerevisiae, LD growth is sustained by LD-localized enzymes. When LDs grow in early stationary...... phase, the diacylglycerol acyl-transferase Dga1p moves from the ER to LDs and is responsible for all TAG synthesis from diacylglycerol (DAG). During LD breakdown in early exponential phase, an ER membrane protein (Ice2p) facilitates TAG utilization for membrane-lipid synthesis. Ice2p has a cytosolic...... and explain how cells switch neutral lipid metabolism from storage to consumption....

  18. Partitioning of Lipids at Domain Boundaries in Model Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schafer, Lars V.; Marrink, Siewert J.


    Line-active molecules ("linactants") that bind to the boundary interface between different fluid lipid domains in membranes have a strong potential as regulators of the lateral heterogeneity that is important for many biological processes. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations in combination w

  19. Valinomycin acts as a channel in ultrathin lipid membranes. (United States)

    Gliozzi, A; Robello, M; Fittabile, L; Relini, A; Gambacorta, A


    When the thickness of monolayer membranes formed by bolaform archaeal lipids is reduced to the approximate length of two valinomycin molecules, the zero-current conductance does not show any more a linear dependence on valinomycin concentration; instead, a quadratic behaviour is observed. This suggests that a dimer permeation pore is formed and therefore the conduction mechanism changes from carrier to channel.

  20. Computer simulation of cytoskeleton-induced blebbing in lipid membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spangler, E. J.; Harvey, C. W.; Revalee, J. D.


    Blebs are balloon-shaped membrane protrusions that form during many physiological processes. Using computer simulation of a particle-based model for self-assembled lipid bilayers coupled to an elastic meshwork, we investigated the phase behavior and kinetics of blebbing. We found that blebs form...

  1. Lipid-protein interactions in plasma membranes of fiber cells isolated from the human eye lens. (United States)

    Raguz, Marija; Mainali, Laxman; O'Brien, William J; Subczynski, Witold K


    The protein content in human lens membranes is extremely high, increases with age, and is higher in the nucleus as compared with the cortex, which should strongly affect the organization and properties of the lipid bilayer portion of intact membranes. To assess these effects, the intact cortical and nuclear fiber cell plasma membranes isolated from human lenses from 41- to 60-year-old donors were studied using electron paramagnetic resonance spin-labeling methods. Results were compared with those obtained for lens lipid membranes prepared from total lipid extracts from human eyes of the same age group [Mainali, L., Raguz, M., O'Brien, W. J., and Subczynski, W. K. (2013) Biochim. Biophys. Acta]. Differences were considered to be mainly due to the effect of membrane proteins. The lipid-bilayer portions of intact membranes were significantly less fluid than lipid bilayers of lens lipid membranes, prepared without proteins. The intact membranes were found to contain three distinct lipid environments termed the bulk lipid domain, boundary lipid domain, and trapped lipid domain. However, the cholesterol bilayer domain, which was detected in cortical and nuclear lens lipid membranes, was not detected in intact membranes. The relative amounts of bulk and trapped lipids were evaluated. The amount of lipids in domains uniquely formed due to the presence of membrane proteins was greater in nuclear membranes than in cortical membranes. Thus, it is evident that the rigidity of nuclear membranes is greater than that of cortical membranes. Also the permeability coefficients for oxygen measured in domains of nuclear membranes were significantly lower than appropriate coefficients measured in cortical membranes. Relationships between the organization of lipids into lipid domains in fiber cells plasma membranes and the organization of membrane proteins are discussed.

  2. Lipid domains control myelin basic protein adsorption and membrane interactions between model myelin lipid bilayers. (United States)

    Lee, Dong Woog; Banquy, Xavier; Kristiansen, Kai; Kaufman, Yair; Boggs, Joan M; Israelachvili, Jacob N


    The surface forces apparatus and atomic force microscope were used to study the effects of lipid composition and concentrations of myelin basic protein (MBP) on the structure of model lipid bilayers, as well as the interaction forces and adhesion between them. The lipid bilayers had a lipid composition characteristic of the cytoplasmic leaflets of myelin from "normal" (healthy) and "disease-like" [experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE)] animals. They showed significant differences in the adsorption mechanism of MBP. MBP adsorbs on normal bilayers to form a compact film (3-4 nm) with strong intermembrane adhesion (∼0.36 mJ/m(2)), in contrast to its formation of thicker (7-8 nm) swelled films with weaker intermembrane adhesion (∼0.13 mJ/m(2)) on EAE bilayers. MBP preferentially adsorbs to liquid-disordered submicron domains within the lipid membranes, attributed to hydrophobic attractions. These results show a direct connection between the lipid composition of membranes and membrane-protein adsorption mechanisms that affects intermembrane spacing and adhesion and has direct implications for demyelinating diseases.

  3. Spin-labelled vacuolar-ATPase inhibitors in lipid membranes. (United States)

    Dixon, Neil; Páli, Tibor; Kee, Terence P; Marsh, Derek


    Two spin-labelled derivatives of the 5-(2-indolyl)-2,4-pentadienoyl class of inhibitors of the vacuolar ATPase have been synthesised and their EPR properties characterised in phospholipid membranes. One spin-labelled inhibitor is the amide derivative of pentadienic acid and 4-amino-TEMPO (INDOL6), and the other is the 3-hydroxymethyl-PROXYL ester (INDOL5). The response of the EPR spectra to the chain-melting transition of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayers demonstrates that both derivatives incorporate in phospholipid membranes. The axially anisotropic EPR spectra of INDOL6 in fluid DMPC membranes indicate that the indolyl-pentadienoyl inhibitors intercalate between the lipid chains, in the membrane. INDOL5, designed to possess additional internal segmental mobility, exhibits more nearly isotropic motion of the spin-label moiety in fluid membranes than does INDOL6. The EPR characteristics of INDOL5 are therefore well suited to detecting specific ligand-protein interactions. Progressive saturation EPR experiments with polar and hydrophobic relaxation agents (aqueous Ni2+ and oxygen) show that the nitroxide group is buried in the membrane, with the indole moiety providing the anchor at the membrane polar-apolar interface. Rates of spin-label reduction by externally added ascorbate confirm this assignment. These two spin-labelled derivatives provide complementary EPR probes of the lipid environment (INDOL6), and of ligand-protein interactions (INDOL5), for this class of V-ATPase inhibitor.

  4. Direct visualization of lipid domains in human skin stratum corneum's lipid membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plasencia, I; Norlen, Lars; Bagatolli, Luis


    The main function of skin is to serve as a physical barrier between the body and the environment. This barrier capacity is in turn a function of the physical state and structural organization of the stratum corneum extracellular lipid matrix. This lipid matrix is essentially composed of very long...... chain saturated ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. Three unsolved key questions are i), whether the stratum corneum extracellular lipid matrix is constituted by a single gel phase or by coexisting crystalline (solid) domains; ii), whether a separate liquid crystalline phase is present......; and iii), whether pH has a direct effect on the lipid matrix phase behavior. In this work the lateral structure of membranes composed of lipids extracted from human skin stratum corneum was studied in a broad temperature range (10 degrees C-90 degrees C) using different techniques such as differential...

  5. Cyclohexane Rings Reduce Membrane Permeability to Small Ions in Archaea-Inspired Tetraether Lipids. (United States)

    Koyanagi, Takaoki; Leriche, Geoffray; Onofrei, David; Holland, Gregory P; Mayer, Michael; Yang, Jerry


    Extremophile archaeal organisms overcome problems of membrane permeability by producing lipids with structural elements that putatively improve membrane integrity compared to lipids from other life forms. Herein, we describe a series of lipids that mimic some key structural features of archaeal lipids, such as: 1) single tethering of lipid tails to create fully transmembrane tetraether lipids and 2) the incorporation of small rings into these tethered segments. We found that membranes formed from pure tetraether lipids leaked small ions at a rate that was about two orders of magnitude slower than common bilayer-forming lipids. Incorporation of cyclopentane rings into the tetraether lipids did not affect membrane leakage, whereas a cyclohexane ring reduced leakage by an additional 40 %. These results show that mimicking certain structural features of natural archaeal lipids results in improved membrane integrity, which may help overcome limitations of many current lipid-based technologies.

  6. DNA-Tile Structures Induce Ionic Currents through Lipid Membranes. (United States)

    Göpfrich, Kerstin; Zettl, Thomas; Meijering, Anna E C; Hernández-Ainsa, Silvia; Kocabey, Samet; Liedl, Tim; Keyser, Ulrich F


    Self-assembled DNA nanostructures have been used to create man-made transmembrane channels in lipid bilayers. Here, we present a DNA-tile structure with a nominal subnanometer channel and cholesterol-tags for membrane anchoring. With an outer diameter of 5 nm and a molecular weight of 45 kDa, the dimensions of our synthetic nanostructure are comparable to biological ion channels. Because of its simple design, the structure self-assembles within a minute, making its creation scalable for applications in biology. Ionic current recordings demonstrate that the tile structures enable ion conduction through lipid bilayers and show gating and voltage-switching behavior. By demonstrating the design of DNA-based membrane channels with openings much smaller than that of the archetypical six-helix bundle, our work showcases their versatility inspired by the rich diversity of natural membrane components.

  7. Polyunsaturation in lipid membranes: dynamic properties and lateral pressure profiles. (United States)

    Ollila, Samuli; Hyvönen, Marja T; Vattulainen, Ilpo


    We elucidate the influence of unsaturation on single-component membrane properties, focusing on their dynamical aspects and lateral pressure profiles across the membrane. To this end, we employ atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to study five different membrane systems with varying degrees of unsaturation, starting from saturated membranes and systematically increasing the level of unsaturation, ending up with a bilayer of phospholipids containing the docosahexaenoic acid. For an increasing level of unsaturation, we find considerable effects on dynamical properties, such as accelerated dynamics of the phosphocholine head groups and glycerol backbones and speeded up rotational dynamics of the lipid molecules. The lateral pressure profile is found to be altered by the degree of unsaturation. For an increasing number of double bonds, the peak in the middle of the bilayer decreases. This is compensated for by changes in the membrane-water interface region in terms of increasing peak heights of the lateral pressure profile. Implications of the findings are briefly discussed.

  8. Protein-lipid interactions in bilayer membranes: a lattice model. (United States)

    Pink, D A; Chapman, D


    A lattice model has been developed to study the effects of intrinsic membrane proteins upon the thermodynamic properties of a lipid bilayer membrane. We assume that only nearest-neighbor van der Waals and steric interactions are important and that the polar group interactions can be represented by effective pressure-area terms. Phase diagrams, the temperature T(0), which locates the gel-fluid melting, the transition enthalpy, and correlations were calculated by mean field and cluster approximations. Average lipid chain areas and chain areas when the lipid is in a given protein environment were obtained. Proteins that have a "smooth" homogeneous surface ("cholesterol-like") and those that have inhomogeneous surfaces or that bind lipids specifically were considered. We find that T(0) can vary depending upon the interactions and that another peak can appear upon the shoulder of the main peak which reflects the melting of a eutectic mixture. The transition enthalpy decreases generally, as was found before, but when a second peak appears departures from this behavior reflect aspects of the eutectic mixture. We find that proteins have significant nonzero probabilities for being adjacent to one another so that no unbroken "annulus" of lipid necessarily exists around a protein. If T(0) does not increase much, or decreases, with increasing c, then lipids adjacent to a protein cannot all be all-trans on the time scale (10(-7) sec) of our system. Around a protein the lipid correlation depth is about one lipid layer, and this increases with c. Possible consequences of ignoring changes in polar group interactions due to clustering of proteins are discussed.

  9. Distribution of Fullerene Nanoparticles between Water and Solid Supported Lipid Membranes: Thermodynamics and Effects of Membrane Composition on Distribution. (United States)

    Ha, Yeonjeong; Katz, Lynn E; Liljestrand, Howard M


    The distribution coefficient (Klipw) of fullerene between solid supported lipid membranes (SSLMs) and water was examined using different lipid membrane compositions. Klipw of fullerene was significantly higher with a cationic lipid membrane compared to that with a zwitterionic or anionic lipid membrane, potentially due to the strong interactions between negative fullerene dispersions and positive lipid head groups. The higher Klipw for fullerene distribution to ternary lipid mixture membranes was attributed to an increase in the interfacial surface area of the lipid membrane resulting from phase separation. These results imply that lipid composition can be a critical factor that affects bioconcentration of fullerene. Distribution of fullerene into zwitterionic unsaturated lipid membranes was dominated by the entropy contribution (ΔS) and the process was endothermic (ΔH > 0). This result contrasts the partitioning thermodynamics of highly and moderately hydrophobic chemicals indicating that the lipid-water distribution mechanism of fullerene may be different from that of molecular level chemicals. Potential mechanisms for the distribution of fullerene that may explain these differences include adsorption on the lipid membrane surfaces and partitioning into the center of lipid membranes (i.e., absorption).

  10. Incorporation of large guest molecules into liposomes via chemical reactions in lipid membranes. (United States)

    Tsuchiya, Yuki; Sugikawa, Kouta; Ueda, Masafumi; Ikeda, Atsushi


    The incorporation of hydrophobic guest molecules into lipid membranes by the exchange of the guest molecule from a cyclodextrin (CDx) complex to a liposome is limited to guest molecules that can be included in CDxs. To solve this problem, large guest molecules were incorporated into liposomes by chemical reactions of guest molecules in lipid membranes. Stable lipid-membrane-incorporated fullerene derivatives with large substituent(s) were prepared by Diels-Alder reactions in lipid membranes.

  11. Effects of lipid membrane curvature on lipid packing state evaluated by isothermal titration calorimetry. (United States)

    Yokoyama, Hirokazu; Ikeda, Keisuke; Wakabayashi, Masaki; Ishihama, Yasushi; Nakano, Minoru


    In this report, we present a novel approach for the elucidation of the physicochemical properties of lipid membranes by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) to quantify the heat absorbed during the solubilization of vesicles into TritonX-100 micelles. By using large and small unilamellar vesicles for comparison, this method provides calorimetric data on the gel-to-liquid-crystalline phase transition and its curvature effects and, in particular, the enthalpy change upon membrane deformation from a planar to a curved shape, which cannot be obtained by the conventional approach using differential scanning calorimetry. The results showed quantitatively that the increase in membrane curvature increases the enthalpy of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine membranes both below and above the phase-transition temperature, and that the effect is more significant for the former condition. The calorimetric data obtained are further discussed in relation to the elastic bending energy of the membranes and membrane-peptide interaction.

  12. Single Molecule Kinetics of ENTH Binding to Lipid Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozovsky, Sharon [Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE (United States); Forstner, Martin B. [Syracuse Univ., NY (United States); Sondermann, Holger [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States); Groves, Jay T. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)


    Transient recruitment of proteins to membranes is a fundamental mechanism by which the cell exerts spatial and temporal control over proteins’ localization and interactions. Thus, the specificity and the kinetics of peripheral proteins’ membrane residence are an attribute of their function. In this article, we describe the membrane interactions of the interfacial epsin N-terminal homology (ENTH) domain with its target lipid phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2). The direct visualization and quantification of interactions of single ENTH molecules with supported lipid bilayers is achieved using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) with a time resolution of 13 ms. This enables the recording of the kinetic behavior of ENTH interacting with membranes with physiologically relevant concentrations of PtdIns(4,5)P2 despite the low effective binding affinity. Subsequent single fluorophore tracking permits us to build up distributions of residence times and to measure ENTH dissociation rates as a function of membrane composition. In addition, due to the high time resolution, we are able to resolve details of the motion of ENTH associated with a simple, homogeneous membrane. In this case ENTH’s diffusive transport appears to be the result of at least three different diffusion processes.

  13. Low Frequency Sound Propagation in Lipid Membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Mosgaard, Lars D; Heimburg, Thomas


    In the recent years we have shown that cylindrical biological membranes such as nerve axons under physiological conditions are able to support stable electromechanical pulses called solitons. These pulses share many similarities with the nervous impulse, e.g., the propagation velocity as well as the measured reversible heat production and changes in thickness and length that cannot be explained with traditional nerve models. A necessary condition for solitary pulse propagation is the simultaneous existence of nonlinearity and dispersion, i.e., the dependence of the speed of sound on density and frequency. A prerequisite for the nonlinearity is the presence of a chain melting transition close to physiological temperatures. The transition causes a density dependence of the elastic constants which can easily be determined by experiment. The frequency dependence is more difficult to determine. The typical time scale of a nerve pulse is 1 ms, corresponding to a characteristic frequency in the range up to one kHz. ...

  14. Targeting proteins to liquid-ordered domains in lipid membranes. (United States)

    Stachowiak, Jeanne C; Hayden, Carl C; Sanchez, Mari Angelica A; Wang, Julia; Bunker, Bruce C; Voigt, James A; Sasaki, Darryl Y


    We demonstrate the construction of novel protein-lipid assemblies through the design of a lipid-like molecule, DPIDA, endowed with tail-driven affinity for specific lipid membrane phases and head-driven affinity for specific proteins. In studies performed on giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) with varying mole fractions of dipalymitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC), cholesterol, and diphytanoylphosphatidyl choline (DPhPC), DPIDA selectively partitioned into the more ordered phases, either solid or liquid-ordered (L(o)) depending on membrane composition. Fluorescence imaging established the phase behavior of the resulting quaternary lipid system. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy confirmed the fluidity of the L(o) phase containing DPIDA. In the presence of CuCl(2), the iminodiacetic acid (IDA) headgroup of DPIDA forms the Cu(II)-IDA complex that exhibits a high affinity for histidine residues. His-tagged proteins were bound specifically to domains enriched in DPIDA, demonstrating the capacity to target protein binding selectively to both solid and L(o) phases. Steric pressure from the crowding of surface-bound proteins transformed the domains into tubules with persistence lengths that depended on the phase state of the lipid domains.

  15. Important roles for membrane lipids in haloarchaeal bioenergetics. (United States)

    Kellermann, Matthias Y; Yoshinaga, Marcos Y; Valentine, Raymond C; Wörmer, Lars; Valentine, David L


    Recent advances in lipidomic analysis in combination with various physiological experiments set the stage for deciphering the structure-function of haloarchaeal membrane lipids. Here we focused primarily on changes in lipid composition of Haloferax volcanii, but also performed a comparative analysis with four other haloarchaeal species (Halobacterium salinarum, Halorubrum lacusprofundi, Halorubrum sodomense and Haloplanus natans) all representing distinctive cell morphologies and behaviors (i.e., rod shape vs. pleomorphic behavior). Common to all five haloarchaea, our data reveal an extraordinary high level of menaquinone, reaching up to 72% of the total lipids. This ubiquity suggests that menaquinones may function beyond their ordinary role as electron and proton transporter, acting simultaneously as ion permeability barriers and as powerful shield against oxidative stress. In addition, we aimed at understanding the role of cations interacting with the characteristic negatively charged surface of haloarchaeal membranes. We propose for instance that by bridging the negative charges of adjacent anionic phospholipids, Mg(2+) acts as surrogate for cardiolipin, a molecule that is known to control curvature stress of membranes. This study further provides a bioenergetic perspective as to how haloarchaea evolved following oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. The success of the aerobic lifestyle of haloarchaea includes multiple membrane-based strategies that successfully balance the need for a robust bilayer structure with the need for high rates of electron transport - collectively representing the molecular basis to inhabit hypersaline water bodies around the planet.

  16. Adaptive lipid packing and bioactivity in membrane domains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erdinc Sezgin

    Full Text Available Lateral compositional and physicochemical heterogeneity is a ubiquitous feature of cellular membranes on various length scales, from molecular assemblies to micrometric domains. Segregated lipid domains of increased local order, referred to as rafts, are believed to be prominent features in eukaryotic plasma membranes; however, their exact nature (i.e. size, lifetime, composition, homogeneity in live cells remains difficult to define. Here we present evidence that both synthetic and natural plasma membranes assume a wide range of lipid packing states with varying levels of molecular order. These states may be adapted and specifically tuned by cells during active cellular processes, as we show for stimulated insulin secretion. Most importantly, these states regulate both the partitioning of molecules between coexisting domains and the bioactivity of their constituent molecules, which we demonstrate for the ligand binding activity of the glycosphingolipid receptor GM1. These results confirm the complexity and flexibility of lipid-mediated membrane organization and reveal mechanisms by which this flexibility could be functionalized by cells.

  17. Complex roles of hybrid lipids in the composition, order, and size of lipid membrane domains. (United States)

    Hassan-Zadeh, Ebrahim; Baykal-Caglar, Eda; Alwarawrah, Mohammad; Huang, Juyang


    Hybrid lipids (HL) are phospholipids with one saturated chain and one unsaturated chain. HL are hypothesized to act as linactants (i.e., 2D surfactants) in cell membranes, reducing line tension and creating nanoscopic lipid domains. Here we compare three hybrid lipids of different chain unsaturation (16:0-18:1PC (POPC), 16:0-18:2PC (PLPC), and 16:0-20:4PC (PAPC)) in their abilities to alter the composition, line tension, order, and compactness of lipid domains. We found that the liquid-ordered (Lo) and liquid-disordered (Ld) lipid domains in PAPC/di18:0PC(DSPC)/cholesterol and PLPC/DSPC/cholesterol mixtures are micrometer-sized, and only the POPC/DSPC/cholesterol system has nanoscopic domains. The results indicate that some HLs with polyunsaturated chains are not linactants, and the monounsaturated POPC displays both properties of weak linactants and "Ld-phase" lipids such as di18:1PC (DOPC). The obtained phase boundaries from giant unilamellar vesicles (GUV) show that both POPC and PLPC partition well in the Lo phases. Our MD simulations reveal that these hybrid lipids decrease the order and compactness of Lo domains. Thus, hybrid lipids distinguish themselves from other lipid groups in this combined "partitioning and loosening" ability, which could explain why the Lo domains of GUVs, which often do not contain HL, are more compact than the raft domains in cell membranes. Our line tension measurement and Monte Carlo simulation both show that even the monounsaturated POPC is a weak linactant with only modest ability to occupy domain boundaries and reduce line tension. A more important property of HLs is that they can reduce physical property differences of Lo and Ld bulk domains, which also reduces line tension at domain boundaries.

  18. Model studies of lipid flip-flop in membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parisio, Giulia; Ferrarini, Alberta; Sperotto, Maria Maddalena


    Biomembranes, which are made of a lipid bilayer matrix where proteins are embedded or attached, constitute a physical barrier for cell and its internal organelles. With regard to the distribution of their molecular components, biomembranes are both laterally heterogeneous and transversally...... asymmetric, and because of this they are sites of vital biochemical activities. Lipids may translocate from one leaflet of the bilayer to the opposite either spontaneously or facilitated by proteins, hence they contribute to the regulation of membrane asymmetry on which cell functioning, differentiation...

  19. Buffers affect the bending rigidity of model lipid membranes. (United States)

    Bouvrais, Hélène; Duelund, Lars; Ipsen, John H


    In biophysical and biochemical studies of lipid bilayers the influence of the used buffer is often ignored or assumed to be negligible on membrane structure, elasticity, or physical properties. However, we here present experimental evidence, through bending rigidity measurements performed on giant vesicles, of a more complex behavior, where the buffering molecules may considerably affect the bending rigidity of phosphatidylcholine bilayers. Furthermore, a synergistic effect on the bending modulus is observed in the presence of both salt and buffer molecules, which serves as a warning to experimentalists in the data interpretation of their studies, since typical lipid bilayer studies contain buffer and ion molecules.

  20. Triglyceride blisters in lipid bilayers: implications for lipid droplet biogenesis and the mobile lipid signal in cancer cell membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himanshu Khandelia

    Full Text Available Triglycerides have a limited solubility, around 3%, in phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. Using millisecond-scale course grained molecular dynamics simulations, we show that the model lipid bilayer can accommodate a higher concentration of triolein (TO than earlier anticipated, by sequestering triolein molecules to the bilayer center in the form of a disordered, isotropic, mobile neutral lipid aggregate, at least 17 nm in diameter, which forms spontaneously, and remains stable on at least the microsecond time scale. The results give credence to the hotly debated existence of mobile neutral lipid aggregates of unknown function present in malignant cells, and to the early biogenesis of lipid droplets accommodated between the two leaflets of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. The TO aggregates give the bilayer a blister-like appearance, and will hinder the formation of multi-lamellar phases in model, and possibly living membranes. The blisters will result in anomalous membrane probe partitioning, which should be accounted for in the interpretation of probe-related measurements.

  1. Influence of nonequilibrium lipid transport, membrane compartmentalization, and membrane proteins on the lateral organization of the plasma membrane (United States)

    Fan, Jun; Sammalkorpi, Maria; Haataja, Mikko


    Compositional lipid domains (lipid rafts) in plasma membranes are believed to be important components of many cellular processes. The mechanisms by which cells regulate the sizes, lifetimes, and spatial localization of these domains are rather poorly understood at the moment. We propose a robust mechanism for the formation of finite-sized lipid raft domains in plasma membranes, the competition between phase separation in an immiscible lipid system and active cellular lipid transport processes naturally leads to the formation of such domains. Simulations of a continuum model reveal that the raft size distribution is broad and the average raft size is strongly dependent on the rates of cellular and interlayer lipid transport processes. We demonstrate that spatiotemporal variations in the recycling may enable the cell to localize larger raft aggregates at specific parts along the membrane. Moreover, we show that membrane compartmentalization may further facilitate spatial localization of the raft domains. Finally, we demonstrate that local interactions with immobile membrane proteins can spatially localize the rafts and lead to further clustering.

  2. Membrane lipid rafts and neurobiology: age-related changes in membrane lipids and loss of neuronal function. (United States)

    Egawa, Junji; Pearn, Matthew L; Lemkuil, Brian P; Patel, Piyush M; Head, Brian P


    A better understanding of the cellular physiological role that plasma membrane lipids, fatty acids and sterols play in various cellular systems may yield more insight into how cellular and whole organ function is altered during the ageing process. Membrane lipid rafts (MLRs) within the plasma membrane of most cells serve as key organizers of intracellular signalling and tethering points of cytoskeletal components. MLRs are plasmalemmal microdomains enriched in sphingolipids, cholesterol and scaffolding proteins; they serve as a platform for signal transduction, cytoskeletal organization and vesicular trafficking. Within MLRs are the scaffolding and cholesterol binding proteins named caveolin (Cav). Cavs not only organize a multitude of receptors including neurotransmitter receptors (NMDA and AMPA receptors), signalling proteins that regulate the production of cAMP (G protein-coupled receptors, adenylyl cyclases, phosphodiesterases (PDEs)), and receptor tyrosine kinases involved in growth (Trk), but also interact with components that modulate actin and tubulin cytoskeletal dynamics (e.g. RhoGTPases and actin binding proteins). MLRs are essential for the regulation of the physiology of organs such as the brain, and age-related loss of cholesterol from the plasma membrane leads to loss of MLRs, decreased presynaptic vesicle fusion, and changes in neurotransmitter release, all of which contribute to different forms of neurodegeneration. Thus, MLRs provide an active membrane domain that tethers and reorganizes the cytoskeletal machinery necessary for membrane and cellular repair, and genetic interventions that restore MLRs to normal cellular levels may be exploited as potential therapeutic means to reverse the ageing and neurodegenerative processes.

  3. Structure and dynamics of water and lipid molecules in charged anionic DMPG lipid bilayer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønnest, A. K.; Peters, Günther H.J.; Hansen, Flemming Yssing;


    the sensitivity to confirm the diffusion of a small component of water bound to the lipids as found in the simulations. In addition, the orientation of the dipole moment of the water molecules has been determined as a function of their depth in the membrane. Previous indirect estimates of the electrostatic...... compared to experimental results and used to determine an average diffusion constant for all water molecules in the system. On extrapolating the diffusion constants inferred experimentally to a temperature of 310 K, reasonable agreement with the simulations is obtained. However, the experiments do not have...... potential within phospholipid membranes imply an enormous electric field of 108-109 V m-1, which is likely to have great significance in controlling the conformation of translocating membrane proteins and in the transfer of ions and molecules across the membrane. We have calculated the membrane potential...

  4. Forming lipid bilayer membrane arrays on micropatterned polyelectrolyte film surfaces. (United States)

    Zhang, Ying; Wang, Lei; Wang, Xuejing; Qi, Guodong; Han, Xiaojun


    A novel method of forming lipid bilayer membrane arrays on micropatterned polyelectrolyte film surfaces is introduced. Polyelectrolyte films were fabricated by the layer-by-layer technique on a silicon oxide surface modified with a 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) monolayer. The surface pK(a) value of the APTES monolayer was determined by cyclic voltammetry to be approximately 5.61, on the basis of which a pH value of 2.0 was chosen for layer-by-layer assembly. Micropatterned polyelectrolyte films were obtained by deep-UV (254 nm) photolysis though a mask. Absorbed fluorescent latex beads were used to visualize the patterned surfaces. Lipid bilayer arrays were fabricated on the micropatterned surfaces by immersing the patterned substrates into a solution containing egg phosphatidylcholine vesicles. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching studies yielded a lateral diffusion coefficient for probe molecules of 1.31±0.17 μm(2) s(-1) in the bilayer region, and migration of the lipid NBD PE in bilayer lipid membrane arrays was observed in an electric field.

  5. Lipid membrane-mediated attraction between curvature inducing objects (United States)

    van der Wel, Casper; Vahid, Afshin; Šarić, Anđela; Idema, Timon; Heinrich, Doris; Kraft, Daniela J.


    The interplay of membrane proteins is vital for many biological processes, such as cellular transport, cell division, and signal transduction between nerve cells. Theoretical considerations have led to the idea that the membrane itself mediates protein self-organization in these processes through minimization of membrane curvature energy. Here, we present a combined experimental and numerical study in which we quantify these interactions directly for the first time. In our experimental model system we control the deformation of a lipid membrane by adhering colloidal particles. Using confocal microscopy, we establish that these membrane deformations cause an attractive interaction force leading to reversible binding. The attraction extends over 2.5 times the particle diameter and has a strength of three times the thermal energy (‑3.3 kBT). Coarse-grained Monte-Carlo simulations of the system are in excellent agreement with the experimental results and prove that the measured interaction is independent of length scale. Our combined experimental and numerical results reveal membrane curvature as a common physical origin for interactions between any membrane-deforming objects, from nanometre-sized proteins to micrometre-sized particles.

  6. Analytical solution of lipid membrane morphology subjected to boundary forces on the edges of rectangular membranes (United States)

    Belay, T.; Kim, C. I.; Schiavone, P.


    We develop a complete analytical solution predicting the deformation of rectangular lipid membranes resulting from boundary forces acting on the perimeter of the membrane. The shape equation describing the equilibrium state of a lipid membrane is taken from the classical Helfrich model. A linearized version of the shape equation describing membrane morphology (within the Monge representation) is obtained via a limit of superposed incremental deformations. We obtain a complete analytical solution by reducing the corresponding problem to a single partial differential equation and by using Fourier series representations for various types of boundary forces. The solution obtained predicts smooth morphological transition over the domain of interest. Finally, we note that the methods used in our analysis are not restricted to the particular type of boundary conditions considered here and can accommodate a wide class of practical and important edge conditions.

  7. Interaction measurement of particles bound to a lipid membrane (United States)

    Sarfati, Raphael; Dufresne, Eric


    The local shape and dynamics of the plasma membrane play important roles in many cellular processes. Local membrane deformations are often mediated by the adsorption of proteins (notably from the BAR family), and their subsequent self-assembly. The emerging hypothesis is that self-assembly arises from long-range interactions of individual proteins through the membrane's deformation field. We study these interactions in a model system of micron-sized colloidal particles adsorbed onto a lipid bilayer. We use fluorescent microscopy, optical tweezers and particle tracking to measure dissipative and conservative forces as a function of the separation between the particles. We find that particles are driven together with forces of order 100 fN and remain bound in a potential well with a stiffness of order 100 fN/micron.

  8. Elasto-plasticity in wrinkled polymerized lipid membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Chaieb, Sahraoui


    Biomembranes shown to behave like elastic sheets, can also suffer plastic deformations. Neutron scattering experiments on partially polymerised wrinkled membranes revealed that when a critical degree of polymerisation is crossed, the wrinkled membranes do not resume their spherical shapes. Instead they remain wrinkled and rigid while their non-polymerised counterparts resume their spherical floppy shapes. The yield stress of these membranes, measured for the first time via the fractal dimension, is intimately related to the degree of polymerisation probably through a 2D disorder that quenches the lateral diffusion of the lipid molecules. This work might shed light on the physical reason behind the irreversible deformation of echinocytes, acanthocytes and malaria infected red blood cells.

  9. Elasto-plasticity in wrinkled polymerized lipid membranes (United States)

    Chaieb, Sahraoui


    Biomembranes shown to behave like elastic sheets, can also suffer plastic deformations. Neutron scattering experiments on partially polymerised wrinkled membranes revealed that when a critical degree of polymerisation is crossed, the wrinkled membranes do not resume their spherical shapes. Instead they remain wrinkled and rigid while their non-polymerised counterparts resume their spherical floppy shapes. The yield stress of these membranes, measured for the first time via the fractal dimension, is intimately related to the degree of polymerisation probably through a 2D disorder that quenches the lateral diffusion of the lipid molecules. This work might shed light on the physical reason behind the irreversible deformation of echinocytes, acanthocytes and malaria infected red blood cells.

  10. Fluid lipid membranes: from differential geometry to curvature stresses. (United States)

    Deserno, Markus


    A fluid lipid membrane transmits stresses and torques that are fully determined by its geometry. They can be described by a stress- and torque-tensor, respectively, which yield the force or torque per length through any curve drawn on the membrane's surface. In the absence of external forces or torques the surface divergence of these tensors vanishes, revealing them as conserved quantities of the underlying Euler-Lagrange equation for the membrane's shape. This review provides a comprehensive introduction into these concepts without assuming the reader's familiarity with differential geometry, which instead will be developed as needed, relying on little more than vector calculus. The Helfrich Hamiltonian is then introduced and discussed in some depth. By expressing the quest for the energy-minimizing shape as a functional variation problem subject to geometric constraints, as proposed by Guven (2004), stress- and torque-tensors naturally emerge, and their connection to the shape equation becomes evident. How to reason with both tensors is then illustrated with a number of simple examples, after which this review concludes with four more sophisticated applications: boundary conditions for adhering membranes, corrections to the classical micropipette aspiration equation, membrane buckling, and membrane mediated interactions.

  11. Genetic Analysis of Arabidopsis Mutants Impaired in Plastid Lipid Import Reveals a Role of Membrane Lipids in Chloroplast Division

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fan, J.; Xu, C.


    The biogenesis of photosynthetic membranes in plants relies largely on lipid import from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and this lipid transport process is mediated by TGD proteins in Arabidopsis. Such a dependency of chloroplast biogenesis on ER-to-plastid lipid transport was recently exemplified by analyzing double mutants between tgd1-1 or tgd4-3 and fad6 mutants. The fad6 mutants are defective in the desaturation of membrane lipids in chloroplasts and therefore dependent on import of polyunsaturated lipid precursors from the ER for constructing a competent thylakoid membrane system. In support of a critical role of TGD proteins in ER-to-plastid lipid trafficking, we showed that the introduction of the tgd mutations into fad6 mutant backgrounds led to drastic reductions in relative amounts of thylakoid lipids. Moreover, the tgd1-1 fad6 and tgd4-3 fad6 double mutants were deficient in polyunsaturated fatty acids in chloroplast membrane lipids, and severely compromised in the biogenesis of photosynthetic membrane systems. Here we report that these double mutants are severely impaired in chloroplast division. The possible role of membrane lipids in chloroplast division is discussed.

  12. Imaging lipid domains in cell membranes: the advent of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan Myers Owen


    Full Text Available The lipid bilayer of model membranes, liposomes reconstituted from cell lipids, and plasma membrane vesicles and spheres can separate into two distinct liquid phases to yield lipid domains with liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered properties. These observations are the basis of the lipid raft hypothesis that postulates the existence of cholesterol-enriched ordered-phase lipid domains in cell membranes that could regulate protein mobility, localization and interaction. Here we review the evidence that nano-scaled lipid complexes and meso-scaled lipid domains exist in cell membranes and how new fluorescence microscopy techniques that overcome the diffraction limit provide new insights into lipid organization in cell membranes.

  13. Dynamical and structural properties of lipid membranes in relation to liposomal drug delivery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kent; Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Pedersen, Tina B.


    The structural and dynamical properties of DPPC liposomes containing lipopolymers (PEG-lipids) and charged DPPS lipids have been,studied in relation to the lipid membrane interaction of enzymes and peptides. The results suggest that both the lipid membrane structure and dynamics and in particular...... the appearance of small-scale lipid structures might be of importance for the activity of membrane associated and liposome degrading enzymes as well as for the membrane interaction of acylated peptides. The combined experimental and simulation results are of relevance for a rational development of peptide loaded...

  14. Membrane potential governs lateral segregation of plasma membrane proteins and lipids in yeast. (United States)

    Grossmann, Guido; Opekarová, Miroslava; Malinsky, Jan; Weig-Meckl, Ina; Tanner, Widmar


    The plasma membrane potential is mainly considered as the driving force for ion and nutrient translocation. Using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, we have discovered a novel role of the membrane potential in the organization of the plasma membrane. Within the yeast plasma membrane, two non-overlapping sub-compartments can be visualized. The first one, represented by a network-like structure, is occupied by the proton ATPase, Pma1, and the second one, forming 300-nm patches, houses a number of proton symporters (Can1, Fur4, Tat2 and HUP1) and Sur7, a component of the recently described eisosomes. Evidence is presented that sterols, the main lipid constituent of the plasma membrane, also accumulate within the patchy compartment. It is documented that this compartmentation is highly dependent on the energization of the membrane. Plasma membrane depolarization causes reversible dispersion of the H(+)-symporters, not however of the Sur7 protein. Mitochondrial mutants, affected in plasma membrane energization, show a significantly lower degree of membrane protein segregation. In accordance with these observations, depolarized membranes also considerably change their physical properties (detergent sensitivity).

  15. SAXS investigations on lipid membranes under osmotic stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubim, R.L.; Vieira, V.; Gerbelli, B.B.; Teixeira da Silva, E.R.; Oliveira, C.L.P.; Oliveira, E.A. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)


    Full text: In this work we, experimentally, investigate the interactions between lipid bilayers. A structural characterization is performed by small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) on multilamellar systems under known osmotic pressure. Changes in the composition of membranes can modify their mechanical properties and structural parameters, like the flexibility of these membranes, which plays a key role on the determination of the tridimensional organization of bilayers. The membranes are composed of soya lecithin, where the major component is DPPC (Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine), and fatty acids are incorporated to the membrane in different concentrations, in order to turn the membrane more fluid. The membranes are inserted in a solution of PVP [poly(vinyl-pyrrolidone) - 40000] and the polymer will apply an osmotic pressure on them. The osmotic pressure is controlled by preparing PVP solutions of desired composition and, as we know the concentration of polymer in solution, we can obtain the intensity of the osmotic pressure. SAXS experiments were done in order to determine the distance between the bilayer. From the position of the Bragg peaks, the lamellar periodicity (the thickness of the membranes plus their distance of separation) was determined. Using theoretical model for the form and structure factors we fitted those experimental data and determined the thickness of the membranes. The distance between the membranes was controlled by the osmotic pressure (P) applied to the membranes and, for a given pressure, we determine the distance between the bilayers (a) on equilibrium. The experimental curve P(a) is theoretically described by the different contributions from van der Waals, hydration and fluctuation forces. From the fitting of experimental curves, relevant parameters characterizing the strength of the different interactions are obtained, such as Hamaker and rigidity constant [2, 3]. We observe that the separation between the bilayers on equilibrium is

  16. An ER Protein Functionally Couples Neutral Lipid Metabolism on Lipid Droplets to Membrane Lipid Synthesis in the ER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel F. Markgraf


    Full Text Available Eukaryotic cells store neutral lipids such as triacylglycerol (TAG in lipid droplets (LDs. Here, we have addressed how LDs are functionally linked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER. We show that, in S. cerevisiae, LD growth is sustained by LD-localized enzymes. When LDs grow in early stationary phase, the diacylglycerol acyl-transferase Dga1p moves from the ER to LDs and is responsible for all TAG synthesis from diacylglycerol (DAG. During LD breakdown in early exponential phase, an ER membrane protein (Ice2p facilitates TAG utilization for membrane-lipid synthesis. Ice2p has a cytosolic domain with affinity for LDs and is required for the efficient utilization of LD-derived DAG in the ER. Ice2p breaks a futile cycle on LDs between TAG degradation and synthesis, promoting the rapid relocalization of Dga1p to the ER. Our results show that Ice2p functionally links LDs with the ER and explain how cells switch neutral lipid metabolism from storage to consumption.

  17. An ER protein functionally couples neutral lipid metabolism on lipid droplets to membrane lipid synthesis in the ER. (United States)

    Markgraf, Daniel F; Klemm, Robin W; Junker, Mirco; Hannibal-Bach, Hans K; Ejsing, Christer S; Rapoport, Tom A


    Eukaryotic cells store neutral lipids such as triacylglycerol (TAG) in lipid droplets (LDs). Here, we have addressed how LDs are functionally linked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We show that, in S. cerevisiae, LD growth is sustained by LD-localized enzymes. When LDs grow in early stationary phase, the diacylglycerol acyl-transferase Dga1p moves from the ER to LDs and is responsible for all TAG synthesis from diacylglycerol (DAG). During LD breakdown in early exponential phase, an ER membrane protein (Ice2p) facilitates TAG utilization for membrane-lipid synthesis. Ice2p has a cytosolic domain with affinity for LDs and is required for the efficient utilization of LD-derived DAG in the ER. Ice2p breaks a futile cycle on LDs between TAG degradation and synthesis, promoting the rapid relocalization of Dga1p to the ER. Our results show that Ice2p functionally links LDs with the ER and explain how cells switch neutral lipid metabolism from storage to consumption.

  18. An ER protein functionally couples neutral lipid metabolism on lipid droplets to membrane lipid synthesis in the ER (United States)

    Markgraf, Daniel F.; Klemm, Robin W.; Junker, Mirco; Hannibal-Bach, Hans K.; Ejsing, Christer S.; Rapoport, Tom A.


    Eukaryotic cells store neutral lipids, such as triacylglycerol (TAG), in lipid droplets (LDs). Here, we have addressed how LDs are functionally linked to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We show in S. cerevisiae that LD growth is sustained by LD-localized enzymes. When LDs grow in early stationary phase, the diacylglycerol acyl-transferase Dga1p moves from the ER to LDs and is responsible for all TAG synthesis from diacylglycerol (DAG). During LD breakdown in early exponential phase, an ER membrane protein, Ice2p, facilitates TAG utilization for membrane-lipid synthesis. Ice2p has a cytosolic domain with affinity for LDs and is required for the efficient utilization of LD-derived DAG in the ER. Ice2p breaks a futile cycle on LDs between TAG-degradation and -synthesis, promoting the rapid re-localization of Dga1p to the ER. Our results show that Ice2p functionally links LDs with the ER, and explain how cells switch neutral lipid metabolism from storage to consumption. PMID:24373967

  19. LDL uptake by Leishmania amazonensis: involvement of membrane lipid microdomains. (United States)

    De Cicco, Nuccia N T; Pereira, Miria G; Corrêa, José R; Andrade-Neto, Valter V; Saraiva, Felipe B; Chagas-Lima, Alessandra C; Gondim, Katia C; Torres-Santos, Eduardo C; Folly, Evelize; Saraiva, Elvira M; Cunha-E-Silva, Narcisa L; Soares, Maurilio J; Atella, Georgia C


    Leishmania amazonensis lacks a de novo mechanism for cholesterol synthesis and therefore must scavenge this lipid from the host environment. In this study we show that the L. amazonensis takes up and metabolizes human LDL(1) particles in both a time and dose-dependent manner. This mechanism implies the presence of a true LDL receptor because the uptake is blocked by both low temperature and by the excess of non-labelled LDL. This receptor is probably associated with specific microdomains in the membrane of the parasite, such as rafts, because this process is blocked by methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MCBD). Cholesteryl ester fluorescently-labeled LDL (BODIPY-cholesteryl-LDL) was used to follow the intracellular distribution of this lipid. After uptake it was localized in large compartments along the parasite body. The accumulation of LDL was analyzed by flow cytometry using FITC-labeled LDL particles. Together these data show for the first time that L. amazonensis is able to compensate for its lack of lipid synthesis through the use of a lipid importing machinery largely based on the uptake of LDL particles from the host. Understanding the details of the molecular events involved in this mechanism may lead to the identification of novel targets to block Leishmania infection in human hosts.

  20. Solubility and permeation of hydrogen sulfide in lipid membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Cuevasanta

    Full Text Available Hydrogen sulfide (H(2S is mainly known for its toxicity but has recently been shown to be produced endogenously in mammalian tissues and to be associated with physiological regulatory functions. To better understand the role of biomembranes in modulating its biological distribution and effects; we measured the partition coefficient of H(2S in models of biological membranes. The partition coefficients were found to be 2.1±0.2, 1.9±0.5 and 2.0±0.6 in n-octanol, hexane and dilauroylphosphatidylcholine liposome membranes relative to water, respectively (25°C. This two-fold higher concentration of H(2S in the membrane translates into a rapid membrane permeability, P(m = 3 cm s(-1. We used a mathematical model in three dimensions to gain insight into the diffusion of total sulfide in tissues. This model shows that the sphere of action of sulfide produced by a single cell expands to involve more than 200 neighboring cells, and that the resistance imposed by lipid membranes has a significant effect on the diffusional spread of sulfide at pH 7.4, increasing local concentrations. These results support the role of hydrogen sulfide as a paracrine signaling molecule and reveal advantageous pharmacokinetic properties for its therapeutic applications.

  1. Solubility and permeation of hydrogen sulfide in lipid membranes. (United States)

    Cuevasanta, Ernesto; Denicola, Ana; Alvarez, Beatriz; Möller, Matías N


    Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S) is mainly known for its toxicity but has recently been shown to be produced endogenously in mammalian tissues and to be associated with physiological regulatory functions. To better understand the role of biomembranes in modulating its biological distribution and effects; we measured the partition coefficient of H(2)S in models of biological membranes. The partition coefficients were found to be 2.1±0.2, 1.9±0.5 and 2.0±0.6 in n-octanol, hexane and dilauroylphosphatidylcholine liposome membranes relative to water, respectively (25°C). This two-fold higher concentration of H(2)S in the membrane translates into a rapid membrane permeability, P(m) = 3 cm s(-1). We used a mathematical model in three dimensions to gain insight into the diffusion of total sulfide in tissues. This model shows that the sphere of action of sulfide produced by a single cell expands to involve more than 200 neighboring cells, and that the resistance imposed by lipid membranes has a significant effect on the diffusional spread of sulfide at pH 7.4, increasing local concentrations. These results support the role of hydrogen sulfide as a paracrine signaling molecule and reveal advantageous pharmacokinetic properties for its therapeutic applications.

  2. Shear-Driven Circulation Patterns in Lipid Membrane Vesicles

    CERN Document Server

    Woodhouse, Francis G; 10.1017/jfm.2012.118


    Recent experiments have shown that when a near-hemispherical lipid vesicle attached to a solid surface is subjected to a simple shear flow it exhibits a pattern of membrane circulation much like a dipole vortex. This is in marked contrast to the toroidal circulation that would occur in the related problem of a drop of immiscible fluid attached to a surface and subjected to shear. This profound difference in flow patterns arises from the lateral incompressibility of the membrane, which restricts the observable flows to those in which the velocity field in the membrane is two-dimensionally divergence free. Here we study these circulation patterns within the simplest model of membrane fluid dynamics. A systematic expansion of the flow field based on Papkovich--Neuber potentials is developed for general viscosity ratios between the membrane and the surrounding fluids. Comparison with experimental results [C. V\\'ezy, G. Massiera, and A. Viallat, Soft Matter 3, 844 (2007)] is made, and it is shown how such studies ...

  3. Biological Membranes in Extreme Conditions: Simulations of Anionic Archaeal Tetraether Lipid Membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Felipe Pineda De Castro

    Full Text Available In contrast to the majority of organisms that have cells bound by di-ester phospholipids, archaeal membranes consist of di- and tetraether phospholipids. Originating from organisms that withstand harsh conditions (e.g., low pH and a wide range of temperatures such membranes have physical properties that make them attractive materials for biological research and biotechnological applications. We developed force-field parameters based on the widely used Generalized Amber Force Field (GAFF to enable the study of anionic tetraether membranes of the model archaean Sulfolobus acidocaldarius by computer simulations. The simulations reveal that the physical properties of these unique membranes depend on the number of cyclopentane rings included in each lipid unit, and on the size of cations that are used to ensure charge neutrality. This suggests that the biophysical properties of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius cells depend not only on the compositions of their membranes but also on the media in which they grow.

  4. Biological Membranes in Extreme Conditions: Simulations of Anionic Archaeal Tetraether Lipid Membranes (United States)

    Pineda De Castro, Luis Felipe; Dopson, Mark


    In contrast to the majority of organisms that have cells bound by di-ester phospholipids, archaeal membranes consist of di- and tetraether phospholipids. Originating from organisms that withstand harsh conditions (e.g., low pH and a wide range of temperatures) such membranes have physical properties that make them attractive materials for biological research and biotechnological applications. We developed force-field parameters based on the widely used Generalized Amber Force Field (GAFF) to enable the study of anionic tetraether membranes of the model archaean Sulfolobus acidocaldarius by computer simulations. The simulations reveal that the physical properties of these unique membranes depend on the number of cyclopentane rings included in each lipid unit, and on the size of cations that are used to ensure charge neutrality. This suggests that the biophysical properties of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius cells depend not only on the compositions of their membranes but also on the media in which they grow. PMID:27167213

  5. Hydrostatic Pressure Promotes Domain Formation in Model Lipid Raft Membranes. (United States)

    Worcester, David L; Weinrich, Michael


    Neutron diffraction measurements demonstrate that hydrostatic pressure promotes liquid-ordered (Lo) domain formation in lipid membranes prepared as both oriented multilayers and unilamellar vesicles made of a canonical ternary lipid mixture for which demixing transitions have been extensively studied. The results demonstrate an unusually large dependence of the mixing transition on hydrostatic pressure. Additionally, data at 28 °C show that the magnitude of increase in Lo caused by 10 MPa pressure is much the same as the decrease in Lo produced by twice minimum alveolar concentrations (MAC) of general anesthetics such as halothane, nitrous oxide, and xenon. Therefore, the results may provide a plausible explanation for the reversal of general anesthesia by hydrostatic pressure.

  6. Lipid membrane partitioning of lysolipids and fatty acids: Effects of membrane phase structure and detergent chain length

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Davidsen, Jesper; Jørgensen, Kent


    ) of the detergents. The calorimetric results reveal that the membrane partitioning of lysolipids depends strongly on the phase structure of the lipid membrane. This is manifested as a lysolipid partition coefficient, K, that is much larger for fluid-phase lipid membranes as compared to gel-phase lipid membranes....... Oppositely, the membrane partitioning of fatty acids depends only weakly on the phase structure of the phospholipid vesicles. In addition, the thermodynamic measurements show that the partition coefficients for both the lysolipids and fatty acids toward gel and fluid lipid membranes become almost an order...... of magnitude higher when the saturated acyl chain of the detergents increases by two carbon atoms. The obtained partition coefficients are of importance in relation to a deeper understanding of the interplay between global aqueous and local membrane concentrations of the detergents and the functional influence...

  7. Electroporation of archaeal lipid membranes using MD simulations. (United States)

    Polak, Andraž; Tarek, Mounir; Tomšič, Matija; Valant, Janez; Ulrih, Nataša Poklar; Jamnik, Andrej; Kramar, Peter; Miklavčič, Damijan


    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to investigate the electroporation of archaeal lipid bilayers when subjected to high transmembrane voltages induced by a charge imbalance, mimicking therefore millisecond electric pulse experiments. The structural characteristics of the bilayer, a 9:91 mol% 2,3-di-O-sesterterpanyl-sn-glicerol-1-phospho-myo-inositol (AI) and 2,3-di-O-sesterterpanyl-sn-glicerol-1-phospho-1'(2'-O-α-D-glucosyl)-myo-inositol (AGI) were compared to small angle X-ray scattering data. A rather good agreement of the electron density profiles at temperatures of 298 and 343 K was found assessing therefore the validity of the protocols and force fields used in simulations. Compared to dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC), the electroporation threshold for the bilayer was found to increase from ~2 V to 4.3 V at 323 K, and to 5.2 V at 298 K. Comparing the electroporation thresholds of the archaeal lipids to those of simple diphytanoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPhPC) bilayers (2.5 V at 323 K) allowed one to trace back the stability of the membranes to the structure of their lipid head groups. Addition of DPPC in amounts of 50 mol% to the archaeal lipid bilayers decreases their stability and lowers the electroporation thresholds to 3.8 V and 4.1 V at respectively 323 and 298 K. The present study therefore shows how membrane compositions can be selected to cover a wide range of responses to electric stimuli. This provides new routes for the design of liposomes that can be efficiently used as drug delivery carriers, as the selection of their composition allows one to tune in their electroporation threshold for subsequent release of their load.

  8. Direct affinity of dopamine to lipid membranes investigated by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. (United States)

    Matam, Yashasvi; Ray, Bruce D; Petrache, Horia I


    Dopamine, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter, plays an important role in the brain's reward system and acts on sensory receptors in the brain. Neurotransmitters are contained in lipid membraned vesicles and are released by exocytosis. All neurotransmitters interact with transport and receptor proteins in glial cells, on neuronal dendrites, and at the axonal button, and also must interact with membrane lipids. However, the extent of direct interaction between lipid membranes in the absence of receptors and transport proteins has not been extensively investigated. In this report, we use UV and NMR spectroscopy to determine the affinity and the orientation of dopamine interacting with lipid vesicles made of either phosphatidylcholine (PC) or phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids which are primary lipid components of synaptic vesicles. We quantify the interaction of dopamine's aromatic ring with lipid membranes using our newly developed method that involves reference spectra in hydrophobic environments. Our measurements show that dopamine interacts with lipid membranes primarily through the aromatic side opposite to the hydroxyl groups, with this aromatic side penetrating deeper into the hydrophobic region of the membrane. Since dopamine's activity involves its release into extracellular space, we have used our method to also investigate dopamine's release from lipid vesicles. We find that dopamine trapped inside PC and PS vesicles is released into the external solution despite its affinity to membranes. This result suggests that dopamine's interaction with lipid membranes is complex and involves both binding as well as permeation through lipid bilayers, a combination that could be an effective trigger for apoptosis of dopamine-generating cells.

  9. Computer Simulation of Cytoskeleton-Induced Blebbing in Lipid Membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Spangler, Eric J; Revalee, Joel D; Kumar, P B Sunil; Laradji, Mohamed


    Blebs are balloon-shaped membrane protrusions that form during many physiological processes. Using computer simulation of a particle-based model for self-assembled lipid bilayers coupled to an elastic meshwork, we investigated the phase behavior and kinetics of blebbing. We found that blebs form for large values of the ratio between the areas of the bilayer and the cytoskeleton. We also found that blebbing can be induced when the cytoskeleton is subject to a localized ablation or a uniform compression. The results obtained are qualitatively in agreement with the experimental evidence and the model opens up the possibility to study the kinetics of bleb formation in detail.

  10. CNTs tuning and vertical alignment in anodic aluminium oxide membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Maria Sarno; Diana Sannino; Caterina Leone; Paolo Ciambelli


    Anodic aluminium oxide (AAOM) membranes were used for template growth of carbon nanotubes (CNT) inside their pores by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of different hydrocarbons,in the absence of transition metal catalyst.A composite material,containing one nanotube for each channel,having the same length as the membrane thickness and the external diameter close to the diameter of the membrane holes,was obtained.Yield,selectivity,and quality of CNTs in terms of diameter (up to very thin CNT),carbon order,length,arrangement (i.e.number of tubes for each channel),purity,that are critical requisites for several applications were optimized by investigating the effect of changing the hydrocarbon feedstock gas,also in the presence of hydrogen.The samples produced using methane as a feedstock have a well ordered structure.The role of the alumina channels surface during the CNT growth has been investigated and its catalytic activity has been proved for the first time.

  11. Methyl-branched lipids promote the membrane adsorption of α-synuclein by enhancing shallow lipid-packing defects. (United States)

    Garten, Matthias; Prévost, Coline; Cadart, Clotilde; Gautier, Romain; Bousset, Luc; Melki, Ronald; Bassereau, Patricia; Vanni, Stefano


    Alpha-synuclein (AS) is a synaptic protein that is directly involved in Parkinson's disease due to its tendency to form protein aggregates. Since AS aggregation can be dependent on the interactions between the protein and the cell plasma membrane, elucidating the membrane binding properties of AS is of crucial importance to establish the molecular basis of AS aggregation into toxic fibrils. Using a combination of in vitro reconstitution experiments based on Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs), confocal microscopy and all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we have investigated the membrane binding properties of AS, with a focus on the relative contribution of hydrophobic versus electrostatic interactions. In contrast with previous observations, we did not observe any binding of AS to membranes containing the ganglioside GM1, even at relatively high GM1 content. AS, on the other hand, showed a stronger affinity for neutral flat membranes consisting of methyl-branched lipids. To rationalize these results, we used all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the influence of methyl-branched lipids on interfacial membrane properties. We found that methyl-branched lipids promote the membrane adsorption of AS by creating shallow lipid-packing defects to a larger extent than polyunsaturated and monounsaturated lipids. Our findings suggest that methyl-branched lipids may constitute a remarkably adhesive substrate for peripheral proteins that adsorb on membranes via hydrophobic insertions.

  12. Quantitative studies of antimicrobial peptide-lipid membrane interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Kasper

    into such novel therapeutics. However, limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying microbicidal activity of antimicrobial peptides has slowed down this development. A central step toward understanding the microbicidal mechanisms of action of antimicrobial peptides is to understand the mechanisms by which......The increasing occurrence of multi-drug-resistant bacteria poses a serious threat to modern society. Therefore, novel types of anti-infective therapeutics are highly warranted. Antimicrobial peptides are a class of naturally occurring host-defense molecules that potentially might be developed...... antimicrobial peptides interact with phospholipid membranes. Motivated by that fact, the scope of this thesis is to study these antimicrobial peptide-lipid membrane interactions. In particular, we attempt to study these interactions with a quantitative approach. For that purpose, we consider the three...

  13. Inverse lyotropic phases of lipids and membrane curvature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shearman, G C; Ces, O; Templer, R H; Seddon, J M [Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)


    In recent years it has become evident that many biological functions and processes are associated with the adoption by cellular membranes of complex geometries, at least locally. In this paper, we initially discuss the range of self-assembled structures that lipids, the building blocks of biological membranes, may form, focusing specifically on the inverse lyotropic phases of negative interfacial mean curvature. We describe the roles of curvature elasticity and packing frustration in controlling the stability of these inverse phases, and the experimental determination of the spontaneous curvature and the curvature elastic parameters. We discuss how the lyotropic phase behaviour can be tuned by the addition of compounds such as long-chain alkanes, which can relieve packing frustration. The latter section of the paper elaborates further on the structure, geometric properties, and stability of the inverse bicontinuous cubic phases.

  14. Elucidating how bamboo salt interacts with supported lipid membranes: influence of alkalinity on membrane fluidity. (United States)

    Jeong, Jong Hee; Choi, Jae-Hyeok; Kim, Min Chul; Park, Jae Hyeon; Herrin, Jason Scott; Kim, Seung Hyun; Lee, Haiwon; Cho, Nam-Joon


    Bamboo salt is a traditional medicine produced from sea salt. It is widely used in Oriental medicine and is an alkalizing agent with reported antiinflammatory, antimicrobial and chemotherapeutic properties. Notwithstanding, linking specific molecular mechanisms with these properties has been challenging to establish in biological systems. In part, this issue may be related to bamboo salt eliciting nonspecific effects on components found within these systems. Herein, we investigated the effects of bamboo salt solution on supported lipid bilayers as a model system to characterize the interaction between lipid membranes and bamboo salt. The atomic composition of unprocessed and processed bamboo salts was first analyzed by mass spectrometry, and we identified several elements that have not been previously reported in other bamboo salt preparations. The alkalinity of hydrated samples was also measured and determined to be between pH 10 and 11 for bamboo salts. The effect of processed bamboo salt solutions on the fluidic properties of a supported lipid bilayer on glass was next investigated by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis. It was demonstrated that, with increasing ionic strength of the bamboo salt solution, the fluidity of a lipid bilayer increased. On the contrary, increasing the ionic strength of near-neutral buffer solutions with sodium chloride salt diminished fluidity. To reconcile these two observations, we identified that solution alkalinity is critical for the effects of bamboo salt on membrane fluidity, as confirmed using three additional commercial bamboo salt preparations. Extended-DLVO model calculations support that the effects of bamboo salt on lipid membranes are due to the alkalinity imparting a stronger hydration force. Collectively, the results of this work demonstrate that processing of bamboo salt strongly affects its atomic composition and that the alkalinity of bamboo salt solutions contributes to its effect on membrane

  15. Detergent interaction with tethered bilayer lipid membranes for protein reconstitution (United States)

    Broccio, Matteo; Zan Goh, Haw; Loesche, Mathias


    Tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) are self-assembled biomimetic structures in which the membrane is separated from a solid substrate by a nm-thick hydrated submembrane space. These model systems are being used in binding studies of peripheral proteins and exotoxins. Here we aim at their application for the reconstitution of water-insoluble integral membrane proteins. As an alternative to fusion of preformed proteoliposomes we study the direct reconstitution of such proteins for applications in biosensing and pharmaceutical screening. For reconstitution, highly insulating tBLMs (R˜10^5-10^6 φ) were temporarily incubated with a detergent to screen for conditions that keep the detergent-saturated membranestable and ready to incorporate detergent-solubilized proteins. We assess the electrical characteristics, i.e. specific resistance and capacitance, by means of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) under timed incubation with decylmaltoside and dodecylmaltoside detergents in a regime around their critical micelle concentration, 1.8 mM and 0.17 mM respectively and demonstrate the restoration of the tBLM upon detergent removal. Thereby a range of concentration and incubation times was identified, that represents optimal conditions for the subsequent membrane protein reconstitution.

  16. Effect of physical constraints on the mechanisms of membrane fusion: bolaform lipid vesicles as model systems.



    Bolaform lipid vesicles were used to study the effect of physical constraints on membrane fusion. In these vesicles the membrane is organized in a single monolayer, because of the presence of covalent bonds in its middle plane. Therefore, the formation of fusion intermediates is subject to higher energy barriers and greater geometrical constraints than is usual in bilayer membranes. Bolaform lipids were extracted from the thermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. These lipids can be divi...

  17. Proving lipid rafts exist: membrane domains in the prokaryote Borrelia burgdorferi have the same properties as eukaryotic lipid rafts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J LaRocca

    Full Text Available Lipid rafts in eukaryotic cells are sphingolipid and cholesterol-rich, ordered membrane regions that have been postulated to play roles in many membrane functions, including infection. We previously demonstrated the existence of cholesterol-lipid-rich domains in membranes of the prokaryote, B. burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease [LaRocca et al. (2010 Cell Host & Microbe 8, 331-342]. Here, we show that these prokaryote membrane domains have the hallmarks of eukaryotic lipid rafts, despite lacking sphingolipids. Substitution experiments replacing cholesterol lipids with a set of sterols, ranging from strongly raft-promoting to raft-inhibiting when mixed with eukaryotic sphingolipids, showed that sterols that can support ordered domain formation are both necessary and sufficient for formation of B. burgdorferi membrane domains that can be detected by transmission electron microscopy or in living organisms by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET. Raft-supporting sterols were also necessary and sufficient for formation of high amounts of detergent resistant membranes from B. burgdorferi. Furthermore, having saturated acyl chains was required for a biotinylated lipid to associate with the cholesterol-lipid-rich domains in B. burgdorferi, another characteristic identical to that of eukaryotic lipid rafts. Sterols supporting ordered domain formation were also necessary and sufficient to maintain B. burgdorferi membrane integrity, and thus critical to the life of the organism. These findings provide compelling evidence for the existence of lipid rafts and show that the same principles of lipid raft formation apply to prokaryotes and eukaryotes despite marked differences in their lipid compositions.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania ePizzimenti


    Full Text Available A great variety of compounds are formed during lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids of membrane phospholipids. Among them, bioactive aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxyalkenals, malondialdehyde (MDA and acrolein, have received particular attention since they have been considered as toxic messengers that can propagate and amplify oxidative injury. In the 4-hydroxyalkenal class, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE is the most intensively studied aldehyde, in relation not only to its toxic function, but also to its physiological role. Indeed, HNE can be found at low concentrations in human tissues and plasma and participates in the control of biological processes, such as signal transduction, cell proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, at low doses, HNE exerts an anti-cancer effect, by inhibiting cell proliferation, angiogenesis, cell adhesion and by inducing differentiation and/or apoptosis in various tumor cell lines. It is very likely that a substantial fraction of the effects observed in cellular responses, induced by HNE and related aldehydes, be mediated by their interaction with proteins, resulting in the formation of covalent adducts or in the modulation of their expression and/or activity. In this review we focus on membrane proteins affected by lipid peroxidation-derived aldehydes, under physiological and pathological conditions.

  19. Vascular endothelial cell membranes differentiate between stretch and shear stress through transitions in their lipid phases. (United States)

    Yamamoto, Kimiko; Ando, Joji


    Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) respond to the hemodynamic forces stretch and shear stress by altering their morphology, functions, and gene expression. However, how they sense and differentiate between these two forces has remained unknown. Here we report that the plasma membrane itself differentiates between stretch and shear stress by undergoing transitions in its lipid phases. Uniaxial stretching and hypotonic swelling increased the lipid order of human pulmonary artery EC plasma membranes, thereby causing a transition from the liquid-disordered phase to the liquid-ordered phase in some areas, along with a decrease in membrane fluidity. In contrast, shear stress decreased the membrane lipid order and increased membrane fluidity. A similar increase in lipid order occurred when the artificial lipid bilayer membranes of giant unilamellar vesicles were stretched by hypotonic swelling, indicating that this is a physical phenomenon. The cholesterol content of EC plasma membranes significantly increased in response to stretch but clearly decreased in response to shear stress. Blocking these changes in the membrane lipid order by depleting membrane cholesterol with methyl-β-cyclodextrin or by adding cholesterol resulted in a marked inhibition of the EC response specific to stretch and shear stress, i.e., phosphorylation of PDGF receptors and phosphorylation of VEGF receptors, respectively. These findings indicate that EC plasma membranes differently respond to stretch and shear stress by changing their lipid order, fluidity, and cholesterol content in opposite directions and that these changes in membrane physical properties are involved in the mechanotransduction that activates membrane receptors specific to each force.

  20. Analysis of Membrane Lipids of Airborne Micro-Organisms (United States)

    MacNaughton, Sarah


    A method of characterization of airborne micro-organisms in a given location involves (1) large-volume filtration of air onto glass-fiber filters; (2) accelerated extraction of membrane lipids of the collected micro-organisms by use of pressurized hot liquid; and (3) identification and quantitation of the lipids by use of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. This method is suitable for use in both outdoor and indoor environments; for example, it can be used to measure airborne microbial contamination in buildings ("sick-building syndrome"). The classical approach to analysis of airborne micro-organisms is based on the growth of cultureable micro-organisms and does not provide an account of viable but noncultureable micro-organisms, which typically amount to more than 90 percent of the micro-organisms present. In contrast, the present method provides an account of all micro-organisms, including cultureable, noncultureable, aerobic, and anaerobic ones. The analysis of lipids according to this method makes it possible to estimate the number of viable airborne micro-organisms present in the sampled air and to obtain a quantitative profile of the general types of micro-organisms present along with some information about their physiological statuses.

  1. Reduction in lateral lipid mobility of lipid bilayer membrane by atmospheric pressure plasma irradiation (United States)

    Suda, Yoshiyuki; Tero, Ryugo; Yamashita, Ryuma; Yusa, Kota; Takikawa, Hirofumi


    Plasma medicine is an emerging research field in which various applications of electrical discharge, especially in the form of nonequilibrium plasma at atmospheric pressure, are examined, for example, the application of plasma to biological targets for various purposes such as selective killing of tumor cells and blood stanching. We have focused on the behavior of an artificial cell membrane system at the solid-liquid interface. To evaluate the lateral lipid mobility, we measured the diffusion coefficient of the supported lipid bilayer (SLB) composed of dioleoylphosphatidylcholine with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching by confocal laser scanning microscopy. It was found that the diffusion coefficient was decreased by plasma irradiation and that the diffusion coefficient decreasing rate proceeded with increasing plasma power. We investigated the effects of stimulation with an equilibrium chemical, H2O2, on the SLB and confirmed that the diffusion coefficient did not change at least up to a H2O2 concentration of 5 mM. These results indicate that transient active species generated by plasma play critical roles in the reduction in SLB fluidity. The effects of the two generated major oxidized lipid species, hydroxyl- or hydroperoxy-phosphatidylcholine (PC) and acyl-chain-truncated PCs terminated with aldehyde or carboxyl group, on lateral lipid mobility are discussed.

  2. Preparation of aligned nanotube membranes for water and gas separation applications (United States)

    Lulevich, Valentin; Bakajin, Olgica; Klare, Jennifer E.; Noy, Aleksandr


    Fabrication methods for selective membranes that include aligned nanotubes can advantageously include a mechanical polishing step. The nanotubes have their ends closed off during the step of infiltrating a polymer precursor around the nanotubes. This prevents polymer precursor from flowing into the nanotubes. The polishing step is performed after the polymer matrix is formed, and can open up the ends of the nanotubes.

  3. Hydropathy profile alignment : a tool to search for structural homologues of membrane proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lolkema, JS; Slotboom, DJ


    Hydropathy profile alignment is introduced as a tool in functional genomics. The architecture of membrane proteins is reflected in the hydropathy profile of the amino acid sequence. Both secondary and tertiary structural elements determine the profile which provides enough sensitivity to detect evol

  4. Conformations of double-headed, triple-tailed phospholipid oxidation lipid products in model membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hermetter, Albin; Kopec, Wojciech; Khandelia, Himanshu


    lipid in a Schiff base reaction to form a conjugate lipid (SCH) with two head groups, and three acyl tails. We investigate the conformations and properties of this unique class of adduct lipids using molecular dynamics simulations, and show that their insertion into lipid bilayers of POPC increases...... between the two head groups of the SCH. Schiff base formation of lipids can alter the concentration, homeostasis and localizations of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanol lipids in membranes, and can therefore influence several membrane-associated processes including fusion and budding. The current...

  5. Spectral Properties and Orientation of Voltage-Sensitive Dyes in Lipid Membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Matson, Maria


    Voltage-sensitive dyes are frequently used for probing variations in the electric potential across cell membranes. The dyes respond by changing their spectral properties: measured as shifts of wavelength of absorption or emission maxima or as changes of absorption or fluorescence intensity. Although such probes have been studied and used for decades, the mechanism behind their voltage sensitivity is still obscure. We ask whether the voltage response is due to electrochromism as a result of direct field interaction on the chromophore or to solvatochromism, which is the focus of this study, as result of changed environment or molecular alignment in the membrane. The spectral properties of three styryl dyes, di-4-ANEPPS, di-8-ANEPPS, and RH421, were investigated in solvents of varying polarity and in model membranes using spectroscopy. Using quantum mechanical calculations, the spectral dependence of monomer and dimer ANEPPS on solvent properties was modeled. Also, the kinetics of binding to lipid membranes and the binding geometry of the probe molecules were found relevant to address. The spectral properties of all three probes were found to be highly sensitive to the local environment, and the probes are oriented nearly parallel with the membrane normal. Slow binding kinetics and scattering in absorption spectra indicate, especially for di-8-ANEPPS, involvement of aggregation. On the basis of the experimental spectra and time-dependent density functional theory calculations, we find that aggregate formation may contribute to the blue-shifts seen for the dyes in decanol and when bound to membrane models. In conclusion, solvatochromic and other intermolecular interactions effects also need to be included when considering electrochromic response voltage-sensitive dyes. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  6. Remodeling of Membrane Lipids in Iron-starved Chlamydomonas* (United States)

    Urzica, Eugen I.; Vieler, Astrid; Hong-Hermesdorf, Anne; Page, M. Dudley; Casero, David; Gallaher, Sean D.; Kropat, Janette; Pellegrini, Matteo; Benning, Christoph; Merchant, Sabeeha S.


    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells exposed to abiotic stresses (e.g. nitrogen, zinc, or phosphorus deficiency) accumulate triacylglycerols (TAG), which are stored in lipid droplets. Here, we report that iron starvation leads to formation of lipid droplets and accumulation of TAGs. This occurs between 12 and 24 h after the switch to iron-starvation medium. C. reinhardtii cells deprived of iron have more saturated fatty acid (FA), possibly due to the loss of function of FA desaturases, which are iron-requiring enzymes with diiron centers. The abundance of a plastid acyl-ACP desaturase (FAB2) is decreased to the same degree as ferredoxin. Ferredoxin is a substrate of the desaturases and has been previously shown to be a major target of the iron deficiency response. The increase in saturated FA (C16:0 and C18:0) is concomitant with the decrease in unsaturated FA (C16:4, C18:3, or C18:4). This change was gradual for diacylglyceryl-N,N,N-trimethylhomoserine (DGTS) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), whereas the monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) FA profile remained stable during the first 12 h, whereas MGDG levels were decreasing over the same period of time. These changes were detectable after only 2 h of iron starvation. On the other hand, DGTS and DGDG contents gradually decreased until a minimum was reached after 24–48 h. RNA-Seq analysis of iron-starved C. reinhardtii cells revealed notable changes in many transcripts coding for enzymes involved in FA metabolism. The mRNA abundances of genes coding for components involved in TAG accumulation (diacylglycerol acyltransferases or major lipid droplet protein) were increased. A more dramatic increase at the transcript level has been observed for many lipases, suggesting that major remodeling of lipid membranes occurs during iron starvation in C. reinhardtii. PMID:23983122

  7. Remodeling of membrane lipids in iron-starved Chlamydomonas. (United States)

    Urzica, Eugen I; Vieler, Astrid; Hong-Hermesdorf, Anne; Page, M Dudley; Casero, David; Gallaher, Sean D; Kropat, Janette; Pellegrini, Matteo; Benning, Christoph; Merchant, Sabeeha S


    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells exposed to abiotic stresses (e.g. nitrogen, zinc, or phosphorus deficiency) accumulate triacylglycerols (TAG), which are stored in lipid droplets. Here, we report that iron starvation leads to formation of lipid droplets and accumulation of TAGs. This occurs between 12 and 24 h after the switch to iron-starvation medium. C. reinhardtii cells deprived of iron have more saturated fatty acid (FA), possibly due to the loss of function of FA desaturases, which are iron-requiring enzymes with diiron centers. The abundance of a plastid acyl-ACP desaturase (FAB2) is decreased to the same degree as ferredoxin. Ferredoxin is a substrate of the desaturases and has been previously shown to be a major target of the iron deficiency response. The increase in saturated FA (C16:0 and C18:0) is concomitant with the decrease in unsaturated FA (C16:4, C18:3, or C18:4). This change was gradual for diacylglyceryl-N,N,N-trimethylhomoserine (DGTS) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), whereas the monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) FA profile remained stable during the first 12 h, whereas MGDG levels were decreasing over the same period of time. These changes were detectable after only 2 h of iron starvation. On the other hand, DGTS and DGDG contents gradually decreased until a minimum was reached after 24-48 h. RNA-Seq analysis of iron-starved C. reinhardtii cells revealed notable changes in many transcripts coding for enzymes involved in FA metabolism. The mRNA abundances of genes coding for components involved in TAG accumulation (diacylglycerol acyltransferases or major lipid droplet protein) were increased. A more dramatic increase at the transcript level has been observed for many lipases, suggesting that major remodeling of lipid membranes occurs during iron starvation in C. reinhardtii.

  8. Yeast lipids can phase separate into micrometer-scale membrane domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klose, Christian; Ejsing, Christer S; Garcia-Saez, Ana J;


    The lipid raft concept proposes that biological membranes have the potential to form functional domains based on a selective interaction between sphingolipids and sterols. These domains seem to be involved in signal transduction and vesicular sorting of proteins and lipids. Although...... there is biochemical evidence for lipid raft-dependent protein and lipid sorting in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, direct evidence for an interaction between yeast sphingolipids and the yeast sterol ergosterol, resulting in membrane domain formation, is lacking. Here we show that model membranes formed from yeast...... total lipid extracts possess an inherent self-organization potential resulting in Ld-Lo phase coexistence at physiologically relevant temperature. Analyses of lipid extracts from mutants defective in sphingolipid metabolism as well as reconstitution of purified yeast lipids in model membranes of defined...

  9. Bipolar tetraether lipids: chain flexibility and membrane polarity gradients from spin-label electron spin resonance. (United States)

    Bartucci, R; Gambacorta, A; Gliozzi, A; Marsh, D; Sportelli, L


    Membranes of thermophilic Archaea are composed of unique tetraether lipids in which C40, saturated, methyl-branched biphytanyl chains are linked at both ends to polar groups. In this paper, membranes composed of bipolar lipids P2 extracted from the acidothermophile archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus are studied. The biophysical basis for the membrane formation and thermal stability is investigated by using electron spin resonance (ESR) of spin-labeled lipids. Spectral anisotropy and isotropic hyperfine couplings are used to determine the chain flexibility and polarity gradients, respectively. For comparison, similar measurements have been carried out on aqueous dispersions of diacyl reference lipid dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine and also of diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine, which has methyl-branched chains. At a given temperature, the bolaform lipid chains are more ordered and less flexible than in normal bilayer membranes. Only at elevated temperatures (80 degrees C) does the flexibility of the chain environment in tetraether lipid assemblies approach that of fluid bilayer membranes. The height of the hydrophobic barrier formed by a monolayer of archaebacterial lipids is similar to that in conventional fluid bilayer membranes, and the permeability barrier width is comparable to that formed by a bilayer of C16 lipid chains. At a mole ratio of 1:2, the tetraether P2 lipids mix well with dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine lipids and stabilize conventional bilayer membranes. The biological as well as the biotechnological relevance of the results is discussed.

  10. Lipid recognition propensities of amino acids in membrane proteins from atomic resolution data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morita Mizuki


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein-lipid interactions play essential roles in the conformational stability and biological functions of membrane proteins. However, few of the previous computational studies have taken into account the atomic details of protein-lipid interactions explicitly. Results To gain an insight into the molecular mechanisms of the recognition of lipid molecules by membrane proteins, we investigated amino acid propensities in membrane proteins for interacting with the head and tail groups of lipid molecules. We observed a common pattern of lipid tail-amino acid interactions in two different data sources, crystal structures and molecular dynamics simulations. These interactions are largely explained by general lipophilicity, whereas the preferences for lipid head groups vary among individual proteins. We also found that membrane and water-soluble proteins utilize essentially an identical set of amino acids for interacting with lipid head and tail groups. Conclusions We showed that the lipophilicity of amino acid residues determines the amino acid preferences for lipid tail groups in both membrane and water-soluble proteins, suggesting that tightly-bound lipid molecules and lipids in the annular shell interact with membrane proteins in a similar manner. In contrast, interactions between lipid head groups and amino acids showed a more variable pattern, apparently constrained by each protein's specific molecular function.

  11. Membrane lipid unsaturation as physiological adaptation to animal longevity. (United States)

    Naudí, Alba; Jové, Mariona; Ayala, Victòria; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Barja, Gustavo; Pamplona, Reinald


    The appearance of oxygen in the terrestrial atmosphere represented an important selective pressure for ancestral living organisms and contributed toward setting up the pace of evolutionary changes in structural and functional systems. The evolution of using oxygen for efficient energy production served as a driving force for the evolution of complex organisms. The redox reactions associated with its use were, however, responsible for the production of reactive species (derived from oxygen and lipids) with damaging effects due to oxidative chemical modifications of essential cellular components. Consequently, aerobic life required the emergence and selection of antioxidant defense systems. As a result, a high diversity in molecular and structural antioxidant defenses evolved. In the following paragraphs, we analyze the adaptation of biological membranes as a dynamic structural defense against reactive species evolved by animals. In particular, our goal is to describe the physiological mechanisms underlying the structural adaptation of cellular membranes to oxidative stress and to explain the meaning of this adaptive mechanism, and to review the state of the art about the link between membrane composition and longevity of animal species.

  12. Pressure effects on the equilibrium configurations of bilayer lipid membranes (United States)

    DeVita, Raffaella; Stewart, Iain W.; Leo, Donald J.


    Planar bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) are currently employed to construct many bio-inspired material systems and structures. In order to characterize the pressure effects on the equilibrium configurations of these biological membranes, a novel continuum model is proposed. The BLM is assumed to be a two-layer smectic A liquid crystal. The mean orientation of the amphiphilic molecules comprising the membrane is postulated to be perpendicular to the layers and each layer is idealized as a two-dimensional liquid. Moreover, the BLM is modeled as a simply supported plate undergoing small deformations. It is subjected to a pressure load that acts perpendicularly to the layers. The equilibrium equations and boundary conditions are derived from the bulk elastic energy for smectic A liquid crystals as described by de Gennes and Prost (1993 The Physics of Liquid Crystals 2nd edn (Oxford Science Publications)) by using variational methods. The resulting fourth-order linear partial differential equation is solved by employing cylindrical functions and the series solution is proved to be convergent. The solution is numerically computed for values of the model parameters that are reported in the literature. This paper is dedicated to the memory of our colleagues, Professors Kevin P Granata and Liviu Librescv, who lost their lives during the sensless tragedy on 16 April, 2007 at Virginia Tech.

  13. Membranes having aligned 1-D nanoparticles in a matrix layer for improved fluid separation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Revanur, Ravindra; Lulevich, Valentin; Roh, Il Juhn; Klare, Jennifer E.; Kim, Sangil; Noy, Aleksandr; Bakajin, Olgica


    Membranes for fluid separation are disclosed. These membranes have a matrix layer sandwiched between an active layer and a porous support layer. The matrix layer includes 1-D nanoparticles that are vertically aligned in a porous polymer matrix, and which substantially extend through the matrix layer. The active layer provides species-specific transport, while the support layer provides mechanical support. A matrix layer of this type has favorable surface morphology for forming the active layer. Furthermore, the pores that form in the matrix layer tend to be smaller and more evenly distributed as a result of the presence of aligned 1-D nanoparticles. Improved performance of separation membranes of this type is attributed to these effects.

  14. Lipid domain structure of the plasma membrane revealed by patching of membrane components. (United States)

    Harder, T; Scheiffele, P; Verkade, P; Simons, K


    Lateral assemblies of glycolipids and cholesterol, "rafts," have been implicated to play a role in cellular processes like membrane sorting, signal transduction, and cell adhesion. We studied the structure of raft domains in the plasma membrane of non-polarized cells. Overexpressed plasma membrane markers were evenly distributed in the plasma membrane. We compared the patching behavior of pairs of raft markers (defined by insolubility in Triton X-100) with pairs of raft/non-raft markers. For this purpose we cross-linked glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), Thy-1, influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), and the raft lipid ganglioside GM1 using antibodies and/or cholera toxin. The patches of these raft markers overlapped extensively in BHK cells as well as in Jurkat T-lymphoma cells. Importantly, patches of GPI-anchored PLAP accumulated src-like protein tyrosine kinase fyn, which is thought to be anchored in the cytoplasmic leaflet of raft domains. In contrast patched raft components and patches of transferrin receptor as a non-raft marker were sharply separated. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that coalescence of cross-linked raft elements is mediated by their common lipid environments, whereas separation of raft and non-raft patches is caused by the immiscibility of different lipid phases. This view is supported by the finding that cholesterol depletion abrogated segregation. Our results are consistent with the view that raft domains in the plasma membrane of non-polarized cells are normally small and highly dispersed but that raft size can be modulated by oligomerization of raft components.

  15. Hydrostatic pressure decreases membrane fluidity and lipid desaturase expression in chondrocyte progenitor cells. (United States)

    Montagne, Kevin; Uchiyama, Hiroki; Furukawa, Katsuko S; Ushida, Takashi


    Membrane biomechanical properties are critical in modulating nutrient and metabolite exchange as well as signal transduction. Biological membranes are predominantly composed of lipids, cholesterol and proteins, and their fluidity is tightly regulated by cholesterol and lipid desaturases. To determine whether such membrane fluidity regulation occurred in mammalian cells under pressure, we investigated the effects of pressure on membrane lipid order of mouse chondrogenic ATDC5 cells and desaturase gene expression. Hydrostatic pressure linearly increased membrane lipid packing and simultaneously repressed lipid desaturase gene expression. We also showed that cholesterol mimicked and cholesterol depletion reversed those effects, suggesting that desaturase gene expression was controlled by the membrane physical state itself. This study demonstrates a new effect of hydrostatic pressure on mammalian cells and may help to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in hydrostatic pressure sensing in chondrocytes.

  16. Lipid composition affects the rate of photosensitized dissipation of cross-membrane diffusion potential on liposomes (United States)

    Ytzhak, Shany; Wuskell, Joseph P.; Loew, Leslie M.; Ehrenberg, Benjamin


    Hydrophobic or amphiphilic tetrapyrrole sensitizers are taken up by cells and are usually located in cellular lipid membranes. Singlet oxygen is photogenerated by the sensitizer and it diffuses in the membrane and causes oxidative damage to membrane components. This damage can occur to membrane lipids and to membrane-localized proteins. Depolarization of the Nernst electric potential on cells’ membranes has been observed in cellular photosensitization, but it was not established whether lipid oxidation is a relevant factor leading to abolishing the resting potential of cells’ membranes and to their death. In this work we studied the effect of liposomes’ lipid composition on the kinetics of hematoporphyrin-photosensitized dissipation of K+-diffusion electric potential that was generated across the membranes. We employed an electrochromic voltage-sensitive spectroscopic probe that possesses a high fluorescence signal response to the potential. We found a correlation between the structure and unsaturation of lipids and the leakage of the membrane, following photosensitization. As the extent of non-conjugated unsaturation of the lipids is increased from 1 to 6 double bonds, the kinetics of depolarization become faster. We also found that the kinetics of depolarization is affected by the percentage of the unsaturated lipids in the liposome: as the fraction of the unsaturated lipids increases the leakage trough the membrane is enhanced. When liposomes are composed of a lipid mixture similar to that of natural membranes and photosensitization is being carried out under usual photodynamic therapy (PDT) conditions, photodamage to the lipids is not likely to cause enhanced permeability of ions through the membrane, which would have been a mechanism that leads to cell death. PMID:20536150

  17. Molecular dynamics simulations of lipid membranes with lateral force: rupture and dynamic properties. (United States)

    Xie, Jun Yu; Ding, Guang Hong; Karttunen, Mikko


    Membranes' response to lateral tension, and eventual rupture, remains poorly understood. In this study, pure dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) lipid bilayers, under tension/pressure, were studied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The irreversible membrane breakdown is demonstrated to depend on the amplitude of lateral tension, loading rate, and the size of the bilayer. In all of our simulations, -200bar lateral pressure was found to be enough to rupture lipid membrane regardless of the loading rate or the membrane size. Loading rate and membrane size had a significant impact on rupture. A variety of dynamic properties of lipid molecules, probability distribution of area per lipid particularly, have been determined, and found to be fundamental for describing membrane behavior in detail, thus providing the quantitative description for the requirement of membrane rupture.

  18. Mechanism for translocation of fluoroquinolones across lipid membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cramariuc, O.; Rog, T.; Javanainen, M.


    Classical atom-scale molecular dynamics simulations, constrained free energy calculations, and quantum mechanical (QM) calculations are employed to study the diffusive translocation of ciprofloxacin (CPFX) across lipid membranes. CPFX is considered here as a representative of the fluoroquinolone...... antibiotics class. Neutral and zwitterionic CPFX coexist at physiological pH, with the latter being predominant. Simulations reveal that only the neutral form permeates the bilayer, and it does so through a novel mechanism that involves dissolution of concerted stacks of zwitterionic ciprofloxacins....... Subsequent QM analysis of the observed molecular stacking shows the important role of partial charge neutralization in the stacks, highlighting how the zwitterionic form of the drug is neutralized for translocation. The findings propose a translocation mechanism in which zwitterionic CPFX molecules approach...

  19. Atomic-level description of protein-lipid interactions using an accelerated membrane model. (United States)

    Baylon, Javier L; Vermaas, Josh V; Muller, Melanie P; Arcario, Mark J; Pogorelov, Taras V; Tajkhorshid, Emad


    Peripheral membrane proteins are structurally diverse proteins that are involved in fundamental cellular processes. Their activity of these proteins is frequently modulated through their interaction with cellular membranes, and as a result techniques to study the interfacial interaction between peripheral proteins and the membrane are in high demand. Due to the fluid nature of the membrane and the reversibility of protein-membrane interactions, the experimental study of these systems remains a challenging task. Molecular dynamics simulations offer a suitable approach to study protein-lipid interactions; however, the slow dynamics of the lipids often prevents sufficient sampling of specific membrane-protein interactions in atomistic simulations. To increase lipid dynamics while preserving the atomistic detail of protein-lipid interactions, in the highly mobile membrane-mimetic (HMMM) model the membrane core is replaced by an organic solvent, while short-tailed lipids provide a nearly complete representation of natural lipids at the organic solvent/water interface. Here, we present a brief introduction and a summary of recent applications of the HMMM to study different membrane proteins, complementing the experimental characterization of the presented systems, and we offer a perspective of future applications of the HMMM to study other classes of membrane proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov.

  20. The role of ceramide chain length distribution on the barrier properties of the skin lipid membranes. (United States)

    Mojumdar, E H; Kariman, Z; van Kerckhove, L; Gooris, G S; Bouwstra, J A


    The skin barrier function is provided by the stratum corneum (SC). The lipids in the SC are composed of three lipid classes: ceramides (CERs), cholesterol (CHOL) and free fatty acids (FFAs) which form two crystalline lamellar structures. In the present study, we investigate the effect of CER chain length distribution on the barrier properties of model lipid membranes mimicking the lipid composition and organization of SC. The membranes were prepared with either isolated pig CERs (PCERs) or synthetic CERs. While PCERs have a wide chain length distribution, the synthetic CERs are quite uniform in chain length. The barrier properties were examined by means of permeation studies using hydrocortisone as a model drug. Our studies revealed a reduced barrier in lipid membranes prepared with PCERs compared to synthetic CERs. Additional studies revealed that a wider chain length distribution of PCERs results in an enhanced hexagonal packing and increased conformational disordering of the lipid tails compared to synthetic CERs, while the lamellar phases did not change. This demonstrates that the chain length distribution affects the lipid barrier by reducing the lipid ordering and density within the lipid lamellae. In subsequent studies, the effect of increased levels of FFAs or CERs with a long acyl chain in the PCERs membranes was also studied. These changes in lipid composition enhanced the level of orthorhombic packing, reduced the conformational disordering and increased the barrier of the lipid membranes. In conclusion, the CER chain length distribution is an important key factor for maintaining a proper barrier.

  1. Independent mobility of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane of Escherichia coli. (United States)

    Nenninger, Anja; Mastroianni, Giulia; Robson, Alexander; Lenn, Tchern; Xue, Quan; Leake, Mark C; Mullineaux, Conrad W


    Fluidity is essential for many biological membrane functions. The basis for understanding membrane structure remains the classic Singer-Nicolson model, in which proteins are embedded within a fluid lipid bilayer and able to diffuse laterally within a sea of lipid. Here we report lipid and protein diffusion in the plasma membrane of live cells of the bacterium Escherichia coli, using Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching (FRAP) and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to measure lateral diffusion coefficients. Lipid and protein mobility within the membrane were probed by visualizing an artificial fluorescent lipid and a simple model membrane protein consisting of a single membrane-spanning alpha-helix with a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) tag on the cytoplasmic side. The effective viscosity of the lipid bilayer is strongly temperature-dependent, as indicated by changes in the lipid diffusion coefficient. Surprisingly, the mobility of the model protein was unaffected by changes in the effective viscosity of the bulk lipid, and TIRF microscopy indicates that it clusters in segregated, mobile domains. We suggest that this segregation profoundly influences the physical behaviour of the protein in the membrane, with strong implications for bacterial membrane function and bacterial physiology.

  2. Ionic channels and nerve membrane lipids. Cholesterol-tetrodotoxin interaction. (United States)

    Villegas, R; Barnola, F V; Camejo, G


    Experiments were carried out to investigate possible interactions of tetrodotoxin (TTX) with lipid molecules isolated from nerve fiber plasma membranes of the squid Dosidicus gigas. TTX has a highly selective ability to block the channel normally used by Na(+) to cross the axolemma during nervous impulse conduction. In order to investigate the interaction each lipid sample was spread on 5 x 10(-7)M TTX and TTX-free 0.15 M NaCl solutions adjusted to pH 7.4 with 7 x 10(-3)M phosphate buffer. The surface pressure-area diagrams of the lipid monolayers revealed that TTX interacts only with cholesterol. The expansion of the cholesterol monolayers at 5 x 10(-7)M TTX was 2 A(2)/molecule at zero pressure for the experiments at 20 degrees C and 2.5 A(2)/molecule for those at 25 degrees C. Similar results were obtained in KCl subphases. The apparent dissociation constant of the cholesterol-TTX complex calculated from dose-response experiments is 2.6 x 10(-7)M. Experiments at pH 10.1 revealed that the zwitter ionic form of TTX is less active. Experiments with cholesterol derivatives (cholesteryl acetate, cholesterol methyl ether, cholestanol, and cholestanyl acetate) indicate that for the interaction with TTX a partial negatively charged group at C-3 and a double bond between C-5 and C-6 on the steroid nucleus are required. Tetrodonic acid, a biologically inactive derivative of TTX, does not interact with cholesterol. The results lead us to propose that cholesterol is part of the Na(+) channel.

  3. Exploiting Lipid Permutation Symmetry to Compute Membrane Remodeling Free Energies (United States)

    Bubnis, Greg; Risselada, Herre Jelger; Grubmüller, Helmut


    A complete physical description of membrane remodeling processes, such as fusion or fission, requires knowledge of the underlying free energy landscapes, particularly in barrier regions involving collective shape changes, topological transitions, and high curvature, where Canham-Helfrich (CH) continuum descriptions may fail. To calculate these free energies using atomistic simulations, one must address not only the sampling problem due to high free energy barriers, but also an orthogonal sampling problem of combinatorial complexity stemming from the permutation symmetry of identical lipids. Here, we solve the combinatorial problem with a permutation reduction scheme to map a structural ensemble into a compact, nondegenerate subregion of configuration space, thereby permitting straightforward free energy calculations via umbrella sampling. We applied this approach, using a coarse-grained lipid model, to test the CH description of bending and found sharp increases in the bending modulus for curvature radii below 10 nm. These deviations suggest that an anharmonic bending term may be required for CH models to give quantitative energetics of highly curved states.

  4. On ripples and rafts: Curvature induced nanoscale structures in lipid membranes (United States)

    Schmid, Friederike; Dolezel, Stefan; Lenz, Olaf; Meinhardt, Sebastian


    We develop an elastic theory that predicts the spontaneous formation of nanoscale structures in lipid bilayers which locally phase separate between two phases with different spontaneous monolayer curvature. The theory rationalizes in a unified manner the observation of a variety of nanoscale structures in lipid membranes: Rippled states in one-component membranes, lipid rafts in multicomponent membranes. Furthermore, we report on recent observations of rippled states and rafts in simulations of a simple coarse-grained model for lipid bilayers, which are compatible with experimental observations and with our elastic model.

  5. Structural properties of lipid reconstructs and lipid composition of normotensive and hypertensive rat vascular smooth muscle cell membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.R. Oliveira


    Full Text Available Multiple cell membrane alterations have been reported to be the cause of various forms of hypertension. The present study focuses on the lipid portion of the membranes, characterizing the microviscosity of membranes reconstituted with lipids extracted from the aorta and mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive (SHR and normotensive control rat strains (WKY and NWR. Membrane-incorporated phospholipid spin labels were used to monitor the bilayer structure at different depths. The packing of lipids extracted from both aorta and mesenteric arteries of normotensive and hypertensive rats was similar. Lipid extract analysis showed similar phospholipid composition for all membranes. However, cholesterol content was lower in SHR arteries than in normotensive animal arteries. These findings contrast with the fact that the SHR aorta is hyporeactive while the SHR mesenteric artery is hyperreactive to vasopressor agents when compared to the vessels of normotensive animal strains. Hence, factors other than microviscosity of bulk lipids contribute to the vascular smooth muscle reactivity and hypertension of SHR. The excess cholesterol in the arteries of normotensive animal strains apparently is not dissolved in bulk lipids and is not directly related to vascular reactivity since it is present in both the aorta and mesenteric arteries. The lower cholesterol concentrations in SHR arteries may in fact result from metabolic differences due to the hypertensive state or to genes that co-segregate with those that determine hypertension during the process of strain selection.

  6. Method of fabricating lipid bilayer membranes on solid supports (United States)

    Cho, Nam-Joon (Inventor); Frank, Curtis W. (Inventor); Glenn, Jeffrey S. (Inventor); Cheong, Kwang Ho (Inventor)


    The present invention provides a method of producing a planar lipid bilayer on a solid support. With this method, a solution of lipid vesicles is first deposited on the solid support. Next, the lipid vesicles are destabilized by adding an amphipathic peptide solution to the lipid vesicle solution. This destabilization leads to production of a planar lipid bilayer on the solid support. The present invention also provides a supported planar lipid bilayer, where the planar lipid bilayer is made of naturally occurring lipids and the solid support is made of unmodified gold or titanium oxide. Preferably, the supported planar lipid bilayer is continuous. The planar lipid bilayer may be made of any naturally occurring lipid or mixture of lipids, including, but not limited to phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinsitol, cardiolipin, cholesterol, and sphingomyelin.

  7. The Power of Asymmetry: Architecture and Assembly of the Gram-Negative Outer Membrane Lipid Bilayer. (United States)

    Henderson, Jeremy C; Zimmerman, Shawn M; Crofts, Alexander A; Boll, Joseph M; Kuhns, Lisa G; Herrera, Carmen M; Trent, M Stephen


    Determining the chemical composition of biological materials is paramount to the study of natural phenomena. Here, we describe the composition of model gram-negative outer membranes, focusing on the predominant assembly, an asymmetrical bilayer of lipid molecules. We also give an overview of lipid biosynthetic pathways and molecular mechanisms that organize this material into the outer membrane bilayer. An emphasis is placed on the potential of these pathways as targets for antibiotic development. We discuss deviations in composition, through bacterial cell surface remodeling, and alternative modalities to the asymmetric lipid bilayer. Outer membrane lipid alterations of current microbiological interest, such as lipid structures found in commensal bacteria, are emphasized. Additionally, outer membrane components could potentially be engineered to develop vaccine platforms. Observations related to composition and assembly of gram-negative outer membranes will continue to generate novel discoveries, broaden biotechnologies, and reveal profound mysteries to compel future research.

  8. In vivo cluster formation of nisin and lipid II is correlated with membrane depolarization. (United States)

    Tol, Menno B; Morales Angeles, Danae; Scheffers, Dirk-Jan


    Nisin and related lantibiotics kill bacteria by pore formation or by sequestering lipid II. Some lantibiotics sequester lipid II into clusters, which were suggested to kill cells through delocalized peptidoglycan synthesis. Here, we show that cluster formation is always concomitant with (i) membrane pore formation and (ii) membrane depolarization. Nisin variants that cluster lipid II kill L-form bacteria with similar efficiency, suggesting that delocalization of peptidoglycan synthesis is not the primary killing mechanism of these lantibiotics.

  9. Partitioning, diffusion, and ligand binding of raft lipid analogs in model and cellular plasma membranes. (United States)

    Sezgin, Erdinc; Levental, Ilya; Grzybek, Michal; Schwarzmann, Günter; Mueller, Veronika; Honigmann, Alf; Belov, Vladimir N; Eggeling, Christian; Coskun, Unal; Simons, Kai; Schwille, Petra


    Several simplified membrane models featuring coexisting liquid disordered (Ld) and ordered (Lo) lipid phases have been developed to mimic the heterogeneous organization of cellular membranes, and thus, aid our understanding of the nature and functional role of ordered lipid-protein nanodomains, termed "rafts". In spite of their greatly reduced complexity, quantitative characterization of local lipid environments using model membranes is not trivial, and the parallels that can be drawn to cellular membranes are not always evident. Similarly, various fluorescently labeled lipid analogs have been used to study membrane organization and function in vitro, although the biological activity of these probes in relation to their native counterparts often remains uncharacterized. This is particularly true for raft-preferring lipids ("raft lipids", e.g. sphingolipids and sterols), whose domain preference is a strict function of their molecular architecture, and is thus susceptible to disruption by fluorescence labeling. Here, we analyze the phase partitioning of a multitude of fluorescent raft lipid analogs in synthetic Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) and cell-derived Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles (GPMVs). We observe complex partitioning behavior dependent on label size, polarity, charge and position, lipid headgroup, and membrane composition. Several of the raft lipid analogs partitioned into the ordered phase in GPMVs, in contrast to fully synthetic GUVs, in which most raft lipid analogs mis-partitioned to the disordered phase. This behavior correlates with the greatly enhanced order difference between coexisting phases in the synthetic system. In addition, not only partitioning, but also ligand binding of the lipids is perturbed upon labeling: while cholera toxin B binds unlabeled GM1 in the Lo phase, it binds fluorescently labeled GMI exclusively in the Ld phase. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) by stimulated emission depletion (STED) nanoscopy on intact

  10. Ionic protein-lipid interaction at the plasma membrane: what can the charge do? (United States)

    Li, Lunyi; Shi, Xiaoshan; Guo, Xingdong; Li, Hua; Xu, Chenqi


    Phospholipids are the major components of cell membranes, but they have functional roles beyond forming lipid bilayers. In particular, acidic phospholipids form microdomains in the plasma membrane and can ionically interact with proteins via polybasic sequences, which can have functional consequences for the protein. The list of proteins regulated by ionic protein-lipid interaction has been quickly expanding, and now includes membrane proteins, cytoplasmic soluble proteins, and viral proteins. Here we review how acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane regulate protein structure and function via ionic interactions, and how Ca(2+) regulates ionic protein-lipid interactions via direct and indirect mechanisms.

  11. A new look at lipid-membrane structure in relation to drug research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Jørgensen, Kent


    Lipid-bilayer membranes are key objects in drug research in relation to (i) interaction of drugs with membrane-bound receptors, (ii) drug targeting, penetration, and permeation of cell membranes, and (iii) use of liposomes in micro-encapsulation technologies for drug delivery. Rational design...... of new drugs and drug-delivery systems therefore requries insight into the physical properties of lipid-bilayer membranes. This mini-review provides a perspective on the current view of lipid-bilayer structure and dynamics based on information obtained from a variety of recent experimental...

  12. Role of charged lipids in membrane structures — Insight given by simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo


    such as phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylserines are involved in several examples of such effects. Molecular dynamics simulations have proved an invaluable tool in exploring these aspects. This so-called computational microscope can provide both complementing explanations for the experimental results and guide experiments...... to fruitful directions. In this paper, we review studies that have utilized molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the roles of charged lipids in membrane structures. We focus on lipids as active constituents of the membranes, affecting both general membrane properties as well as non-lipid membrane...

  13. Randomly organized lipids and marginally stable proteins: a coupling of weak interactions to optimize membrane signaling. (United States)

    Rice, Anne M; Mahling, Ryan; Fealey, Michael E; Rannikko, Anika; Dunleavy, Katie; Hendrickson, Troy; Lohese, K Jean; Kruggel, Spencer; Heiling, Hillary; Harren, Daniel; Sutton, R Bryan; Pastor, John; Hinderliter, Anne


    Eukaryotic lipids in a bilayer are dominated by weak cooperative interactions. These interactions impart highly dynamic and pliable properties to the membrane. C2 domain-containing proteins in the membrane also interact weakly and cooperatively giving rise to a high degree of conformational plasticity. We propose that this feature of weak energetics and plasticity shared by lipids and C2 domain-containing proteins enhance a cell's ability to transduce information across the membrane. We explored this hypothesis using information theory to assess the information storage capacity of model and mast cell membranes, as well as differential scanning calorimetry, carboxyfluorescein release assays, and tryptophan fluorescence to assess protein and membrane stability. The distribution of lipids in mast cell membranes encoded 5.6-5.8bits of information. More information resided in the acyl chains than the head groups and in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane than the outer leaflet. When the lipid composition and information content of model membranes were varied, the associated C2 domains underwent large changes in stability and denaturation profile. The C2 domain-containing proteins are therefore acutely sensitive to the composition and information content of their associated lipids. Together, these findings suggest that the maximum flow of signaling information through the membrane and into the cell is optimized by the cooperation of near-random distributions of membrane lipids and proteins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Interfacially Active Peptides and Proteins. Guest Editors: William C. Wimley and Kalina Hristova.

  14. Coarse-grain Modeling of Lipid Membrane Adsorption on Nanopatterned Surfaces (United States)

    Hoopes, Matthew; Longo, Marjorie; Faller, Roland


    Substrate interactions with adsorbed membranes modify the intrinsic mechanics of supported lipid bilayers. Coarse-graining of the membrane lipids and surface allow for the larger system size necessary for membrane shape studies. Supported lipid bilayers (SLB) continue to be an important means of measuring the thermodynamic and mechanical properties of phospholipid membranes, which are the basis of compartmentalization in living cells. Understanding SLB systems with respect to their substrates enhances the understanding of the measurements taken thereon and promotes design of new substrates to expand the usefulness of these systems. We present data for the interaction of coarse-grained lipid membranes with nanopatterned surfaces, showing the effect of the balance between bending energy and adsorption energy on membrane topology.

  15. Phase Diagrams and Ordering in Charged Membranes: Binary Mixtures of Charged and Neutral Lipids. (United States)

    Shimokawa, Naofumi; Himeno, Hiroki; Hamada, Tsutomu; Takagi, Masahiro; Komura, Shigeyuki; Andelman, David


    We propose a model describing the phase behavior of two-component membranes consisting of binary mixtures of electrically charged and neutral lipids. We take into account the structural phase transition (main-transition) of the hydrocarbon chains, and investigate the interplay between this phase transition and the lateral phase separation. The presence of charged lipids significantly affects the phase behavior of the multicomponent membrane. Due to the conservation of lipid molecular volume, the main-transition temperature of charged lipids is lower than that of neutral ones. Furthermore, as compared with binary mixtures of neutral lipids, the membrane phase separation in binary mixtures of charged lipids is suppressed, in accord with recent experiments. We distinguish between two types of charged membranes: mixtures of charged saturated lipid/neutral unsaturated lipid and a second case of mixtures of neutral saturated lipid/charged unsaturated lipid. The corresponding phase behavior is calculated and shown to be very different. Finally, we discuss the effect of added salt on the phase separation and the temperature dependence of the lipid molecular area.

  16. Accumulation of raft lipids in T-cell plasma membrane domains engaged in TCR signalling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zech, Tobias; Ejsing, Christer S.; Gaus, Katharina;


    domains were also enriched in plasmenyl phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine. Modulating the T-cell lipidome with polyunsaturated fatty acids impaired the plasma membrane condensation at TCR signalling foci and resulted in a perturbed molecular lipid composition. These results correlate...... and saturated phosphatidylcholine species as compared with control plasma membrane fragments. This provides, for the first time, direct evidence that TCR activation domains comprise a distinct molecular lipid composition reminiscent of liquid-ordered raft phases in model membranes. Interestingly, TCR activation...

  17. Lateral diffusion of phospholipids in the plasma membrane of soybean protoplasts: Evidence for membrane lipid domains. (United States)

    Metcalf, T N; Wang, J L; Schindler, M


    Fluorescent lipid and phospholipid probes were incorporated at 4 degrees C into soybean protoplasts prepared from cultured soybean (SB-1) cells. Fluorescence microscopy showed that the plasma membrane as well as the nucleus were labeled. Fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis was performed on these cells at 18 degrees C to monitor the lateral mobility of the incorporated probes. After labeling at low concentrations (40 mug/ml) of phosphatidyl-N-(4-nitrobenzo-2-oxa-1,3-diazolyl)ethanolamine (NBD-PtdEtn), a single mobile component was observed with a diffusion coefficient (D) of approximately 3 x 10(-9) cm(2)/sec. After labeling at higher probe concentrations (>/=100 mug/ml), two diffusing species were observed, with diffusion coefficients of approximately 3 x 10(-9) cm(2)/sec ("fast") and approximately 5 x 10(-10) cm(2)/sec ("slow"). Similar results were observed with fluorescent derivatives of phosphatidylcholine and fatty acids. In contrast to these results, parallel analysis of 3T3 fibroblasts, using the same probes and conditions, yielded only a single diffusion component. These results suggest that the soybean plasma membrane may contain two distinct lipid domains in terms of lipid mobility. Consistent with this idea, experiments with soybean protoplasts yielded a single diffusion component under the following conditions: (i) labeling with NBD-PtdEtn (100 mug/ml), FRAP analysis at 37 degrees C (D = 1.1 x 10(-8) cm(2)/sec); (ii) labeling with NBD-PtdEtn (100 mug/ml), FRAP analysis at 18 degrees C in the presence of 2 mM EGTA (D = 4.2 x 10(-9) cm(2)/sec); (iii) labeling with 5-(N-dodecanoyl)aminofluorescein (a short-chain lipid probe), FRAP analysis at 18 degrees C or 37 degrees C (D = 2.5 x 10(-8) cm(2)/sec). These results suggest that the plasma membrane of soybean cells may contain stable immiscible domains of fluid and gel-like lipids.

  18. Interactions between HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibodies and Model Lipid Membranes imaged with AFM (United States)

    Zauscher, Stefan; Hardy, Gregory; Alam, Munir; Shapter, Joseph


    Lipid membrane interactions with rare, broadly neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), 2F5 and 4E10, play a critical role in HIV-1 neutralization. Our research is motivated by recent immunization studies that have shown that induction of antibodies that avidly bind the gp41-MPER antigen is not sufficient for neutralization. Rather, it is required that antigen designs induce polyreactive antibodies that recognize MPER antigens as well as the viral lipid membrane. However, the mechanistic details of how membrane properties influence NAb-lipid and NAb-antigen interactions remain unknown. Furthermore, it is well established that the native viral membrane is heterogeneous, representing a mosaic of lipid rafts and protein clustering. However, the size, physical properties, and dynamics of these regions are poorly characterized and their potential roles in HIV-1 neutralization are also unknown. To understand how membrane properties contribute to 2F5/4E10 membrane interactions, we have engineered biomimetic supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) and use atomic force microscopy to visualize membrane domains, antigen clustering, and antibody-membrane interactions at sub-nanometer z-resolution. Our results show that localized binding of HIV-1 antigens and NAbs occur preferentially with the most fluid membrane domain. This supports the theory that NAbs may interact with regions of low lateral lipid forces that allow antibody insertion into the bilayer.

  19. Probing peptide and protein insertion in a biomimetic S-layer supported lipid membrane platform. (United States)

    Damiati, Samar; Schrems, Angelika; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin; Sleytr, Uwe B; Schuster, Bernhard


    The most important aspect of synthetic lipid membrane architectures is their ability to study functional membrane-active peptides and membrane proteins in an environment close to nature. Here, we report on the generation and performance of a biomimetic platform, the S-layer supported lipid membrane (SsLM), to investigate the structural and electrical characteristics of the membrane-active peptide gramicidin and the transmembrane protein α-hemolysin in real-time using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring in combination with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. A shift in membrane resistance is caused by the interaction of α-hemolysin and gramicidin with SsLMs, even if only an attachment onto, or functional channels through the lipid membrane, respectively, are formed. Moreover, the obtained results did not indicate the formation of functional α-hemolysin pores, but evidence for functional incorporation of gramicidin into this biomimetic architecture is provided.

  20. The Effect of Lidocaine · HCl on the Fluidity of Native and Model Membrane Lipid Bilayers. (United States)

    Park, Jun-Seop; Jung, Tae-Sang; Noh, Yang-Ho; Kim, Woo-Sung; Park, Won-Ick; Kim, Young-Soo; Chung, In-Kyo; Sohn, Uy Dong; Bae, Soo-Kyung; Bae, Moon-Kyoung; Jang, Hye-Ock; Yun, Il


    The purpose of this study is to investigated the mechanism of pharmacological action of local anesthetic and provide the basic information about the development of new effective local anesthetics. Fluorescent probe techniques were used to evaluate the effect of lidocaine·HCl on the physical properties (transbilayer asymmetric lateral and rotational mobility, annular lipid fluidity and protein distribution) of synaptosomal plasma membrane vesicles (SPMV) isolated from bovine cerebral cortex, and liposomes of total lipids (SPMVTL) and phospholipids (SPMVPL) extracted from the SPMV. An experimental procedure was used based on selective quenching of 1,3-di(1-pyrenyl)propane (Py-3-Py) and 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) by trinitrophenyl groups, and radiationless energy transfer from the tryptophans of membrane proteins to Py-3-Py. Lidocaine·HCl increased the bulk lateral and rotational mobility of neuronal and model membrane lipid bilayes, and had a greater fluidizing effect on the inner monolayer than the outer monolayer. Lidocaine·HCl increased annular lipid fluidity in SPMV lipid bilayers. It also caused membrane proteins to cluster. The most important finding of this study is that there is far greater increase in annular lipid fluidity than that in lateral and rotational mobilities by lidocaine·HCl. Lidocaine·HCl alters the stereo or dynamics of the proteins in the lipid bilayers by combining with lipids, especially with the annular lipids. In conclusion, the present data suggest that lidocaine, in addition to its direct interaction with proteins, concurrently interacts with membrane lipids, fluidizing the membrane, and thus inducing conformational changes of proteins known to be intimately associated with membrane lipid.

  1. Modeling Yeast Organelle Membranes and How Lipid Diversity Influences Bilayer Properties. (United States)

    Monje-Galvan, Viviana; Klauda, Jeffery B


    Membrane lipids are important for the health and proper function of cell membranes. We have improved computational membrane models for specific organelles in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to study the effect of lipid diversity on membrane structure and dynamics. Previous molecular dynamics simulations were performed by Jo et al. [(2009) Biophys J. 97, 50-58] on yeast membrane models having six lipid types with compositions averaged between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the plasma membrane (PM). We incorporated ergosterol, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylinositol lipids in our models to better describe the unique composition of the PM, ER, and trans-Golgi network (TGN) bilayers of yeast. Our results describe membrane structure based on order parameters (SCD), electron density profiles (EDPs), and lipid packing. The average surface area per lipid decreased from 63.8 ± 0.4 Å(2) in the ER to 47.1 ± 0.3 Å(2) in the PM, while the compressibility modulus (KA) varied in the opposite direction. The high SCD values for the PM lipids indicated a more ordered bilayer core, while the corresponding lipids in the ER and TGN models had lower parameters by a factor of at least 0.7. The hydrophobic core thickness (2DC) as estimated from EDPs is the thickest for PM, which is in agreement with estimates of hydrophobic regions of transmembrane proteins from the Orientation of Proteins in Membranes database. Our results show the importance of lipid diversity and composition on a bilayer's structural and mechanical properties, which in turn influences interactions with the proteins and membrane-bound molecules.

  2. Phospatidylserine or ganglioside--which of anionic lipids determines the effect of cationic dextran on lipid membrane? (United States)

    Hąc-Wydro, Katarzyna; Wydro, Paweł; Cetnar, Andrzej; Włodarczyk, Grzegorz


    In this work the influence of cationic polymer, namely diethylaminoethyl DEAE-dextran on model lipid membranes was investigated. This polymer is of a wide application as a biomaterial and a drug carrier and its cytotoxicity toward various cancer cells was also confirmed. It was suggested that anticancer effect of cationic dextran is connected with the binding of the polymer to the negatively charged sialic acid residues overexpressed in cancer membrane. This fact encouraged us to perform the studies aimed at verifying whether the effect of cationic DEAE-dextran on membrane is determined only by the presence of the negatively charged lipid in the system or the kind of anionic lipid is also important. To reach this goal systematic investigations on the effect of dextran on various one-component lipid monolayers and multicomponent hepatoma cell model membranes differing in the level and the kind of anionic lipids (phosphatidylserine, sialic acid-containing ganglioside GM3 or their mixture) were done. As evidenced the results the effect of DEAE-dextran on the model system is determined by anionic lipid-polymer electrostatic interactions. However, the magnitude of the effect of cationic polymer is strongly dependent on the kind of anionic lipid in the model system. Namely, the packing and ordering of the mixtures containing ganglioside GM3 were more affected by DEAE-dextran than phosphatidylserine-containing monolayers. Although the experiments were done on model systems and therefore further studies are highly needed, the collected data may indicate that ganglioside may be important in the differentiation of the effect of cationic dextran on membranes.

  3. Mechanism of voltage-gated channel formation in lipid membranes. (United States)

    Guidelli, Rolando; Becucci, Lucia


    Although several molecular models for voltage-gated ion channels in lipid membranes have been proposed, a detailed mechanism accounting for the salient features of experimental data is lacking. A general treatment accounting for peptide dipole orientation in the electric field and their nucleation and growth kinetics with ion channel formation is provided. This is the first treatment that explains all the main features of the experimental current-voltage curves of peptides forming voltage-gated channels available in the literature. It predicts a regime of weakly voltage-dependent conductance, followed by one of strong voltage-dependent conductance at higher voltages. It also predicts values of the parameters expressing the exponential dependence of conductance upon voltage and peptide bulk concentration for both regimes, in good agreement with those reported in the literature. Most importantly, the only two adjustable parameters involved in the kinetics of nucleation and growth of ion channels can be varied over broad ranges without affecting the above predictions to a significant extent. Thus, the fitting of experimental current-voltage curves stems naturally from the treatment and depends only slightly upon the choice of the kinetic parameters.

  4. Membrane Permeabilization Induced by Sphingosine: Effect of Negatively Charged Lipids (United States)

    Jiménez-Rojo, Noemi; Sot, Jesús; Viguera, Ana R.; Collado, M. Isabel; Torrecillas, Alejandro; Gómez-Fernández, J.C.; Goñi, Félix M.; Alonso, Alicia


    Sphingosine [(2S, 3R, 4E)-2-amino-4-octadecen-1, 3-diol] is the most common sphingoid long chain base in sphingolipids. It is the precursor of important cell signaling molecules, such as ceramides. In the last decade it has been shown to act itself as a potent metabolic signaling molecule, by activating a number of protein kinases. Moreover, sphingosine has been found to permeabilize phospholipid bilayers, giving rise to vesicle leakage. The present contribution intends to analyze the mechanism by which this bioactive lipid induces vesicle contents release, and the effect of negatively charged bilayers in the release process. Fluorescence lifetime measurements and confocal fluorescence microscopy have been applied to observe the mechanism of sphingosine efflux from large and giant unilamellar vesicles; a graded-release efflux has been detected. Additionally, stopped-flow measurements have shown that the rate of vesicle permeabilization increases with sphingosine concentration. Because at the physiological pH sphingosine has a net positive charge, its interaction with negatively charged phospholipids (e.g., bilayers containing phosphatidic acid together with sphingomyelins, phosphatidylethanolamine, and cholesterol) gives rise to a release of vesicular contents, faster than with electrically neutral bilayers. Furthermore, phosphorous 31-NMR and x-ray data show the capacity of sphingosine to facilitate the formation of nonbilayer (cubic phase) intermediates in negatively charged membranes. The data might explain the pathogenesis of Niemann-Pick type C1 disease. PMID:24940775

  5. Composition of cellular membranes in the pancreas of the guinea pig. II. Lipids. (United States)

    Meldolesi, J; Jamieson, J D; Palade, G E


    The lipid composition of rough and smooth microsomal membranes, zymogen granule membranes, and a plasmalemmal fraction from the guinea pig pancreatic exocrine cell has been determined. As a group, membranes of the smooth variety (i.e., smooth microsomes, zymogen granule membranes, and the plasmalemma) were similar in their content of phospholipids, cholesterol and neutral lipids, and in the ratio of total lipids to membrane proteins. In contrast, rough microsomal membranes contained much less sphingomyelin and cholesterol and possessed a smaller lipid/protein ratio. All membrane fractions were unusually high in their content of lysolecithin (up to approximately 20% of the total phospholipids) and of neutral lipids, especially fatty acids. The lysolecithin content was shown to be due to the hydrolysis of membrane lecithin by pancreatic lipase; the fatty acids, liberated by the action of lipase on endogenous triglyceride stores, are apparently scavenged by the membranes from the suspending media. Similar artifactually high levels of lysolecithin and fatty acids were noted in hepatic microsomes incubated with pancreatic postmicrosomal supernatant. E 600, an inhibitor of lipase, largely prevented the appearance of lysolecithin and fatty acids in pancreatic microsomes and in liver microsomes treated with pancreatic supernatant.

  6. Electro-Optical Imaging Microscopy of Dye-Doped Artificial Lipidic Membranes (United States)

    Hajj, Bassam; De Reguardati, Sophie; Hugonin, Loïc; Le Pioufle, Bruno; Osaki, Toshihisa; Suzuki, Hiroaki; Takeuchi, Shoji; Mojzisova, Halina; Chauvat, Dominique; Zyss, Joseph


    Artificial lipidic bilayers are widely used as a model for the lipid matrix in biological cell membranes. We use the Pockels electro-optical effect to investigate the properties of an artificial lipidic membrane doped with nonlinear molecules in the outer layer. We report here what is believed to be the first electro-optical Pockels signal and image from such a membrane. The electro-optical dephasing distribution within the membrane is imaged and the signal is shown to be linear as a function of the applied voltage. A theoretical analysis taking into account the statistical orientation distribution of the inserted dye molecules allows us to estimate the doped membrane nonlinearity. Ongoing extensions of this work to living cell membranes are discussed. PMID:19948120

  7. Homeostatic restitution of cell membranes. Nuclear membrane lipid biogenesis and transport of protein from cytosol to intranuclear spaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amalia Slomiany, Maria Grabska, Bronislaw L. Slomiany


    Full Text Available Our studies on homeostatic restitution of cellular and subcellular membranes showed that vesicular intracellular transport is engaged in systematic and coordinated replacement of lipids and proteins in the membranes of the secretory, non-dividing epithelial cells (Slomiany et al., J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2004; 55: 837-860. In this report, we present evidence on the homeostatic restitution of lipids in the biomembranes that constitute nuclear envelopes. We investigated nuclear membranes lipid synthesis by employing purified intact nuclei (IN, the outer nuclear membrane (ONM, the inner nuclear membrane (INM and the cell cytosol (CC. In contrast to Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER which in the presence of CC generates new biomembrane that forms ER vesicles transporting ER products to Golgi, the IN, ONM and INM are not producing transport vesicles. Instead, the newly synthesized lipids remain in the nuclear membranes. The membranes (INM, ONM of IN incubated with CC become enriched with newly synthesized phosphatidylcholine (PC, phosphatidylinositol (PI, phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs and phosphatidic acid (PA. The incubation of separated ONM and INM with CC also enriched the membranes with IN specific lipids identified above. Moreover, the incubation of IN or its membranes with CC afforded retention of numerous CC proteins on the nuclear membrane. Here, we concentrated on 30kDa CC protein that displayed affinity to nuclear membrane PIP2. The 30kDa CC protein bound to PIP2 of IN, INM, and ONM. With IN, initially the PIP2-30kDa CC protein complex was detected on ONM, after 30-120 min of incubation, was found on INM and in nuclear contents. At the same time when the 30 kDa protein was released from INM and found in nuclear contents, the PIP2 of INM and ONM became undetectable, while the lipid extract from the membrane displaced from IN contained labeled PI only. Since ONM is an uninterrupted continuum of ER and INM, we speculate that the synthesis of

  8. Influence of Lipid A Acylation Pattern on Membrane Permeability and Innate Immune Stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert K. Ernst


    Full Text Available Lipid A, the hydrophobic anchor of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, is an essential component in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. It can stimulate the innate immune system via Toll-like receptor 4/myeloid differentiation factor 2 (TLR4/MD2, leading to the release of inflammatory cytokines. In this study, six Escherichia coli strains which can produce lipid A with different acylation patterns were constructed; the influence of lipid A acylation pattern on the membrane permeability and innate immune stimulation has been systematically investigated. The lipid A species were isolated and identified by matrix assisted laser ionization desorption-time of flight/tandem mass spectrometry. N-Phenyl naphthylamine uptake assay and antibiotic susceptibility test showed that membrane permeability of these strains were different. The lower the number of acyl chains in lipid A, the stronger the membrane permeability. LPS purified from these strains were used to stimulate human or mouse macrophage cells, and different levels of cytokines were induced. Compared with wild type hexa-acylated LPS, penta-acylated, tetra-acylated and tri-acylated LPS induced lower levels of cytokines. These results suggest that the lipid A acylation pattern influences both the bacterial membrane permeability and innate immune stimulation. The results would be useful for redesigning the bacterial membrane structure and for developing lipid A vaccine adjuvant.

  9. Dynamical clustering and a mechanism for raft-like structures in a model lipid membrane. (United States)

    Starr, Francis W; Hartmann, Benedikt; Douglas, Jack F


    We use molecular dynamics simulations to examine the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. This model qualitatively reproduces the known phase transitions between disordered, ordered, and gel membrane phases, and the phase transitions are accompanied by significant changes in the nature of the lipid dynamics. In particular, lipid diffusion in the liquid-ordered phase is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, similar to the dynamics of a liquid approaching its glass transition. This transient molecular caging gives rise to two distinct mobility groups within a single-component membrane: lipids that are transiently trapped, and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. Most significantly, lipids within these distinct mobility states spatially segregate, creating transient "islands" of enhanced mobility having a size and time scale compatible with lipid "rafts," dynamical structures thought to be important for cell membrane function. Although the dynamic lipid clusters that we observe do not themselves correspond to rafts (which are more complex, multicomponent structures), we hypothesize that such rafts may develop from the same universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. We also show that mobile lipid clusters can be dissected into smaller clusters of cooperatively rearranging molecules. The geometry of these clusters can be understood in the context of branched equilibrium polymers, related to percolation theory. We discuss how these dynamical structures relate to a range observations on the dynamics of lipid membranes.

  10. Membrane topology of insulin receptors reconstituted into lipid vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tranum-Jensen, Jørgen; Christiansen, K.; Carlsen, Jens;


    Anatomy, insulin receptors, membrane reconstitution, electron microscopy, quaternary structure, immunogold labeling......Anatomy, insulin receptors, membrane reconstitution, electron microscopy, quaternary structure, immunogold labeling...

  11. Recent progress on lipid lateral heterogeneity in plasma membranes: From rafts to submicrometric domains. (United States)

    Carquin, Mélanie; D'Auria, Ludovic; Pollet, Hélène; Bongarzone, Ernesto R; Tyteca, Donatienne


    The concept of transient nanometric domains known as lipid rafts has brought interest to reassess the validity of the Singer-Nicolson model of a fluid bilayer for cell membranes. However, this new view is still insufficient to explain the cellular control of surface lipid diversity or membrane deformability. During the past decades, the hypothesis that some lipids form large (submicrometric/mesoscale vs nanometric rafts) and stable (>min vs s) membrane domains has emerged, largely based on indirect methods. Morphological evidence for stable submicrometric lipid domains, well-accepted for artificial and highly specialized biological membranes, was further reported for a variety of living cells from prokaryot es to yeast and mammalian cells. However, results remained questioned based on limitations of available fluorescent tools, use of poor lipid fixatives, and imaging artifacts due to non-resolved membrane projections. In this review, we will discuss recent evidence generated using powerful and innovative approaches such as lipid-specific toxin fragments that support the existence of submicrometric domains. We will integrate documented mechanisms involved in the formation and maintenance of these domains, and provide a perspective on their relevance on membrane deformability and regulation of membrane protein distribution.

  12. Mechano-capacitive properties of polarized membranes and the application to conductance measurements of lipid membrane patches (United States)

    Zecchi, Karis A.; Mosgaard, Lars D.; Heimburg, Thomas


    Biological membranes are capacitors that can be charged by applying an electric field across the membrane. The charges on the capacitor exert a force on the membrane that leads to electrostriction, i.e., a thinning of the membrane. This effect is especially strong close to chain melting transitions. A consequence is voltage induced pore formation in the lipid membrane. Since the force is quadratic in voltage, negative and positive voltages have an identical influence on the physics of symmetric membranes. This is not the case for a membrane with an asymmetry leading to a permanent electric polarization. Positive and negative voltages of identical magnitude lead to different physical properties. Such an asymmetry can originate from a lipid composition that is different on the two monolayers of the membrane, or from membrane curvature. The latter effect is called flexoelectricity. It was investigated in detail by A.G. Petrov in the recent decades. As a consequence of permanent polarization, the membrane capacitor is discharged at a voltage different from zero. This leads to interesting electrical phenomena such as outward or inward rectification of membrane permeability. The changes in current-voltage relationships are consistent with the known magnitude of the flexoelectric effect.

  13. Study of sweet taste evaluation using taste sensor with lipid/polymer membranes. (United States)

    Habara, Masaaki; Ikezaki, Hidekazu; Toko, Kiyoshi


    The higher sensitivity for sweeteners can be achieved by newly developed lipid/polymer membranes. The membrane is composed of lipids such as phosphoric acid di-n-hexadecyl ester and tetradodecylammoniumbromid, and a plasticizer, dioctyl phenylphosphonate. As a result of changing electric charge of the membrane surface, the newly developed membrane shows 5-10 times higher sensitivity for sucrose than the conventional ones. We also applied the sensor to other sugars such as sugar alcohol which is used as alternative sweetness or food additives. The experimental results of other sweeteners relatively correspond to human sensory evaluation, though the sensitivity for some sugars need to be improved.

  14. Recent Developments in Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy for Diffusion Measurements in Planar Lipid Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Hof


    Full Text Available Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS is a single molecule technique used mainly for determination of mobility and local concentration of molecules. This review describes the specific problems of FCS in planar systems and reviews the state of the art experimental approaches such as 2-focus, Z-scan or scanning FCS, which overcome most of the artefacts and limitations of standard FCS. We focus on diffusion measurements of lipids and proteins in planar lipid membranes and review the contributions of FCS to elucidating membrane dynamics and the factors influencing it, such as membrane composition, ionic strength, presence of membrane proteins or frictional coupling with solid support.

  15. 3D-Membrane Stacks on Supported Membranes Composed of Diatom Lipids Induced by Long-Chain Polyamines. (United States)

    Gräb, Oliver; Abacilar, Maryna; Daus, Fabian; Geyer, Armin; Steinem, Claudia


    Long-chain polyamines (LCPAs) are intimately involved in the biomineralization process of diatoms taking place in silica deposition vesicles being acidic compartments surrounded by a lipid bilayer. Here, we addressed the question whether and how LCPAs interact with lipid membranes composed of glycerophospholipids and glyceroglycolipids mimicking the membranes of diatoms and higher plants. Solid supported lipid bilayers and monolayers containing the three major components that are unique in diatoms and higher plants, i.e., monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (SQDG), were prepared by spreading small unilamellar vesicles. The integrity of the membranes was investigated by fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy showing continuous flat bilayers and monolayers with small protrusions on top of the membrane. The addition of a synthetic polyamine composed of 13 amine groups separated by a propyl spacer (C3N13) results in flat but three-dimensional membrane stacks within minutes. The membrane stacks are connected with the underlying membrane as verified by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. Membrane stack formation was found to be independent of the lipid composition; i.e., neither glyceroglycolipids nor negatively charged lipids were required. However, the formation process was strongly dependent on the chain length of the polyamine. Whereas short polyamines such as the naturally occurring spermidine, spermine, and the synthetic polyamines C3N4 and C3N5 do not induce stack formation, those containing seven and more amine groups (C3N7, C3N13, and C3N18) do form membrane stacks. The observed stack formation might have implications for the stability and expansion of the silica deposition vesicle during valve and girdle band formation in diatoms.

  16. Differential effect of plant lipids on membrane organization: specificities of phytosphingolipids and phytosterols. (United States)

    Grosjean, Kevin; Mongrand, Sébastien; Beney, Laurent; Simon-Plas, Françoise; Gerbeau-Pissot, Patricia


    The high diversity of the plant lipid mixture raises the question of their respective involvement in the definition of membrane organization. This is particularly the case for plant plasma membrane, which is enriched in specific lipids, such as free and conjugated forms of phytosterols and typical phytosphingolipids, such as glycosylinositolphosphoceramides. This question was here addressed extensively by characterizing the order level of membrane from vesicles prepared using various plant lipid mixtures and labeled with an environment-sensitive probe. Fluorescence spectroscopy experiments showed that among major phytosterols, campesterol exhibits a stronger ability than β-sitosterol and stigmasterol to order model membranes. Multispectral confocal microscopy, allowing spatial analysis of membrane organization, demonstrated accordingly the strong ability of campesterol to promote ordered domain formation and to organize their spatial distribution at the membrane surface. Conjugated sterol forms, alone and in synergy with free sterols, exhibit a striking ability to order membrane. Plant sphingolipids, particularly glycosylinositolphosphoceramides, enhanced the sterol-induced ordering effect, emphasizing the formation and increasing the size of sterol-dependent ordered domains. Altogether, our results support a differential involvement of free and conjugated phytosterols in the formation of ordered domains and suggest that the diversity of plant lipids, allowing various local combinations of lipid species, could be a major contributor to membrane organization in particular through the formation of sphingolipid-sterol interacting domains.

  17. A Coarse Grained Model for a Lipid Membrane with Physiological Composition and Leaflet Asymmetry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyan Sharma

    Full Text Available The resemblance of lipid membrane models to physiological membranes determines how well molecular dynamics (MD simulations imitate the dynamic behavior of cell membranes and membrane proteins. Physiological lipid membranes are composed of multiple types of phospholipids, and the leaflet compositions are generally asymmetric. Here we describe an approach for self-assembly of a Coarse-Grained (CG membrane model with physiological composition and leaflet asymmetry using the MARTINI force field. An initial set-up of two boxes with different types of lipids according to the leaflet asymmetry of mammalian cell membranes stacked with 0.5 nm overlap, reliably resulted in the self-assembly of bilayer membranes with leaflet asymmetry resembling that of physiological mammalian cell membranes. Self-assembly in the presence of a fragment of the plasma membrane protein syntaxin 1A led to spontaneous specific positioning of phosphatidylionositol(4,5bisphosphate at a positively charged stretch of syntaxin consistent with experimental data. An analogous approach choosing an initial set-up with two concentric shells filled with different lipid types results in successful assembly of a spherical vesicle with asymmetric leaflet composition. Self-assembly of the vesicle in the presence of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptobrevin 2 revealed the correct position of the synaptobrevin transmembrane domain. This is the first CG MD method to form a membrane with physiological lipid composition as well as leaflet asymmetry by self-assembly and will enable unbiased studies of the incorporation and dynamics of membrane proteins in more realistic CG membrane models.

  18. Linear coupling of alignment with transport in a polymer electrolyte membrane (United States)

    Li, Jing; Park, Jong Keun; Moore, Robert B.; Madsen, Louis A.


    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) selectively transport ions and polar molecules in a robust yet formable solid support. Tailored PEMs allow for devices such as solid-state batteries,‘artificial muscle’ actuators and reverse-osmosis water purifiers. Understanding how PEM structure and morphology relate to mobile species transport presents a challenge for designing next-generation materials. Material length scales from subnanometre to 1 μm (refs , ) influence bulk properties such as ion conductivity and water transport. Here we employ multi-axis pulsed-field-gradient NMR (ref. ) to measure diffusion anisotropy, and 2H NMR spectroscopy and synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering to probe orientational order as a function of water content and of membrane stretching. Strikingly, transport anisotropy linearly depends on the degree of alignment, signifying that membrane stretching affects neither the nanometre-scale channel dimensions nor the defect structure,causing only domain reorientation. The observed reorientation of anisotropic domains without perturbation of the inherent nematic-like domain character parallels the behaviour of nematic elastomers, promises tailored membrane conduction and potentially allows understanding of tunable shape-memory effects in PEM materials. This quantitative understanding will drive PEM design efforts towardsoptimal membrane transport, thus enabling more efficient polymeric batteries, fuel cells, mechanical actuators and water purification.

  19. Characterization of Membrane Protein-Lipid Interactions by Mass Spectrometry Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Cong, Xiao; Liu, Wen; Laganowsky, Arthur


    Lipids in the biological membrane can modulate the structure and function of integral and peripheral membrane proteins. Distinguishing individual lipids that bind selectively to membrane protein complexes from an ensemble of lipid-bound species remains a daunting task. Recently, ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) has proven to be invaluable for interrogating the interactions between protein and individual lipids, where the complex undergoes collision induced unfolding followed by quantification of the unfolding pathway to assess the effect of these interactions. However, gas-phase unfolding experiments for membrane proteins are typically performed on the entire ensemble (apo and lipid bound species), raising uncertainty to the contribution of individual lipids and the species that are ejected in the unfolding process. Here, we describe the application of mass spectrometry ion mobility mass spectrometry (MS-IM-MS) for isolating ions corresponding to lipid-bound states of a model integral membrane protein, ammonia channel (AmtB) from Escherichia coli. Free of ensemble effects, MS-IM-MS reveals that bound lipids are ejected as neutral species; however, no correlation was found between the lipid-induced stabilization of complex and their equilibrium binding constants. In comparison to data obtained by IM-MS, there are surprisingly limited differences in stability measurements from IM-MS and MS-IM-MS. The approach described here to isolate ions of membrane protein complexes will be useful for other MS methods, such as surface induced dissociation or collision induced dissociation to determine the stoichiometry of hetero-oligomeric membrane protein complexes.

  20. Equilibrium microphase separation in the two-leaflet model of lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Reigada, Ramon


    A novel two-leaflet description of lipid membranes is proposed. Within its framework, phase separation phenomena in multicomponent biological membranes are analyzed. As we show, interactions between the leaflets tend to suppress macroscopic phase segregation (i.e., complete demixing of lipids) in such systems. Instead, microphase separation characterized by formation of equilibrium nanoscale domains can take place. The phase diagram is constructed and numerical simulations revealing nanostructures of different morphology are performed.

  1. Life as a matter of fat : lipids in a membrane biophysics perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Mouritsen, Ole G


    The present book gives a multi-disciplinary perspective on the physics of life and the particular role played by lipids (fats) and the lipid-bilayer component of cell membranes. The emphasis is on the physical properties of lipid membranes seen as soft and molecularly structured interfaces. By combining and synthesizing insights obtained from a variety of recent studies, an attempt is made to clarify what membrane structure is and how it can be quantitatively described. Furthermore, it is shown how biological function mediated by membranes is controlled by lipid membrane structure and organization on length scales ranging from the size of the individual molecule, across molecular assemblies of proteins and lipid domains in the range of nanometers, to the size of whole cells. Applications of lipids in nanotechnology and biomedicine are also described.   The first edition of the present book was published in 2005 when lipidomics was still very much an emerging science and lipids about to be recognized as being...

  2. Lateral Diffusion of Membrane Proteins : Consequences of Hydrophobic Mismatch and Lipid Composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramadurai, Sivaramakrishnan; Duurkens, Hinderika; Krasnikov, Victor V.; Poolman, Bert


    Biological membranes are composed of a large number lipid species differing in hydrophobic length, degree of saturation, and charge and size of the headgroup. We now present data on the effect of hydrocarbon chain length of the lipids and headgroup composition on the lateral mobility of the proteins

  3. Determining Membrane Protein-Lipid Binding Thermodynamics Using Native Mass Spectrometry. (United States)

    Cong, Xiao; Liu, Yang; Liu, Wen; Liang, Xiaowen; Russell, David H; Laganowsky, Arthur


    Membrane proteins are embedded in the biological membrane where the chemically diverse lipid environment can modulate their structure and function. However, the thermodynamics governing the molecular recognition and interaction of lipids with membrane proteins is poorly understood. Here, we report a method using native mass spectrometry (MS), to determine thermodynamics of individual ligand binding events to proteins. Unlike conventional methods, native MS can resolve individual ligand binding events and, coupled with an apparatus to control the temperature, determine binding thermodynamic parameters, such as for protein-lipid interactions. We validated our approach using three soluble protein-ligand systems (maltose binding protein, lysozyme, and nitrogen regulatory protein) and obtained similar results to those using isothermal titration calorimetry and surface plasmon resonance. We also determined for the first time the thermodynamics of individual lipid binding to the ammonia channel (AmtB), an integral membrane protein from Escherichia coli. Remarkably, we observed distinct thermodynamic signatures for the binding of different lipids and entropy-enthalpy compensation for binding lipids of variable chain length. Additionally, using a mutant form of AmtB that abolishes a specific phosphatidylglycerol (PG) binding site, we observed distinct changes in the thermodynamic signatures for binding PG, implying these signatures can identify key residues involved in specific lipid binding and potentially differentiate between specific lipid binding sites.

  4. Effects of deformability and thermal motion of lipid membrane on electroporation: By molecular dynamics simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sun, Sheng; Yin, Guangyao [Bioengineering Graduate Program, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China); Lee, Yi-Kuen [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China); Wong, Joseph T.Y. [Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China); Zhang, Tong-Yi, E-mail: [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China)


    Research highlights: {yields} MD simulations show that deformability and thermal motion of membrane affect electroporation. {yields} Stiffer membrane inhibits electroporation and makes water penetrate from both sides. {yields} Higher temperature accelerates electroporation. -- Abstract: Effects of mechanical properties and thermal motion of POPE lipid membrane on electroporation were studied by molecular dynamics simulations. Among simulations in which specific atoms of lipids were artificially constrained at their equilibrium positions using a spring with force constant of 2.0 kcal/(mol A{sup 2}) in the external electric field of 1.4 kcal/(mol A e), only constraint on lateral motions of lipid tails prohibited electroporation while non-tail parts had little effects. When force constant decreased to 0.2 kcal/(mol A{sup 2}) in the position constraints on lipid tails in the external electric field of 2.0 kcal/(mol A e), water molecules began to enter the membrane. Position constraints of lipid tails allow water to penetrate from both sides of membrane. Thermal motion of lipids can induce initial defects in the hydrophobic core of membrane, which are favorable nucleation sites for electroporation. Simulations at different temperatures revealed that as the temperature increases, the time taken to the initial pore formation will decrease.

  5. Effect of self-assembly of fullerene nano-particles on lipid membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saiqun Zhang

    Full Text Available Carbon nanoparticles can penetrate the cell membrane and cause cytotoxicity. The diffusion feature and translocation free energy of fullerene through lipid membranes is well reported. However, the knowledge on self-assembly of fullerenes and resulting effects on lipid membrane is poorly addressed. In this work, the self-assembly of fullerene nanoparticles and the resulting influence on the dioleoylphosphtidylcholine (DOPC model membrane were studied by using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations with explicit solvents. Our simulation results confirm that gathered small fullerene cluster can invade lipid membrane. Simulations show two pathways: 1 assembly process is completely finished before penetration; 2 assembly process coincides with penetration. Simulation results also demonstrate that in the membrane interior, fullerene clusters tend to stay at the position which is 1.0 nm away from the membrane center. In addition, the diverse microscopic stacking mode (i.e., equilateral triangle, tetrahedral pentahedral, trigonal bipyramid and octahedron of these small fullerene clusters are well characterized. Thus our simulations provide a detailed high-resolution characterization of the microscopic structures of the small fullerene clusters. Further, we found the gathered small fullerene clusters have significant adverse disturbances to the local structure of the membrane, but no great influence on the global integrity of the lipid membrane, which suggests the prerequisite of high-content fullerene for cytotoxicity.

  6. [Effect of microwaves on bilayer lipid membranes: role of a membrane-forming hole in the Teflon film]. (United States)

    Alekseev, S I; Ziskin, M S; Fesenko, E E


    The distributions of specific abcorption rate (SAR) and E-field in a membrane-forming hole of Teflon film and surrounding electrolyte were calculated for 0.9 GHz exposure. It was found that the specific absorption rate in the membrane-forming hole increased greatly with increasing thickness of the Teflon film, and electrolyte concentration and decreasing diameter of the hole. The previously demonstrated significant changes in the conductivity of modified bilayer lipid membranes induced by microwave exposure can be explained by a local increase in specific absorption rate and subsequent elevation of temperature in the membrane-forming hole of the Teflon film.

  7. Structure formation of lipid membranes: Membrane self-assembly and vesicle opening-up to octopus-like micelles (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi


    We briefly review our recent studies on self-assembly and vesicle rupture of lipid membranes using coarse-grained molecular simulations. For single component membranes, lipid molecules self-assemble from random gas states to vesicles via disk-shaped clusters. Clusters aggregate into larger clusters, and subsequently the large disks close into vesicles. The size of vesicles are determined by kinetics than by thermodynamics. When a vesicle composed of lipid and detergent types of molecules is ruptured, a disk-shaped micelle called bicelle can be formed. When both surfactants have negligibly low critical micelle concentration, it is found that bicelles connected with worm-like micelles are also formed depending on the surfactant ratio and spontaneous curvature of the membrane monolayer.

  8. Biophysical Changes of Lipid Membranes in the Presence of Ethanol at Varying Concentrations. (United States)

    Konas, Ryan M; Daristotle, John L; Harbor, Ndubuisi B; Klauda, Jeffery B


    Ethanol is widely used as an additive to gasoline, and production of ethanol can come from single-celled organisms such as yeast. We systematically studied the influence of ethanol on common lipids found in yeast plasma membranes, specifically phosphatidylserine (PS), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and phosphatidylcholine (PC). Molecular dynamics simulations were used to probe changes to the biophysical properties of membranes with varying equilibrated bulk ethanol concentrations less than 25 mol %. The palmitoyl oleoyl (PO, 18:1/16:0) chain was used for all lipids, and a mixed bilayer of POPE/POPS (7:3 ratio) was also simulated. Ethanol was found to interact strongly with POPC, and thus its surface area per lipid, chain order, and electron density profiles differ the most from the neat bilayer. At 12 mol % ethanol in the bulk, ethanol penetrated into the hydrophobic core for all membranes studied, but POPC had the highest penetration. Although the anionic headgroup of POPS acted as a protectant for membrane structure compared to the zwitterionic lipids, this was not the case for the POPE/POPS mixture that showed more penetration of ethanol into the membrane than the single-component membranes. To fully characterize the impact of ethanol on yeast plasma membranes, our results suggest that experiments and simulations need to consider representative mixtures of lipids that exist in vivo.

  9. Lipid domains in bicelles containing unsaturated lipids and cholesterol. (United States)

    Cho, Hyo Soon; Dominick, Johnna L; Spence, Megan M


    We have created a stable bicelle system capable of forming micrometer-scale lipid domains that orient in a magnetic field, suitable for structural biology determination in solid-state NMR. The bicelles consisted of a mixture of cholesterol, saturated lipid (DMPC), and unsaturated lipid (POPC), a mixture commonly used to create domains in model membranes, along with a short chain lipid (DHPC) that allows formation of the bicelle phase. While maintaining a constant molar ratio of long to short chain lipids, q = ([POPC]+[DMPC])/[DHPC] = 3, we varied the concentrations of the unsaturated lipid, POPC, and cholesterol to observe the effects of the components on bicelle stability. Using (31)P solid-state NMR, we observed that unsaturated lipids (POPC) greatly destabilized the alignment of the membranes in the magnetic field, while cholesterol stabilized their alignment. By combining cholesterol and unsaturated lipids in the bicelles, we created membranes aligning uniformly in the magnetic field, despite very high concentrations of unsaturated lipids. These bicelles, with high concentrations of both cholesterol and unsaturated lipid, showed similar phase behavior to bicelles commonly used in structural biology, but aligned over a wider temperature range (291-314 K). Domains were observed by measuring time-dependent diffusion constants reflecting restricted diffusion of the lipids within micrometer-scale regions of the bicelles. Micron-scale domains have never been observed in POPC/DMPC/cholesterol vesicles, implying that bilayers in bicelles show different phase behavior than their counterparts in vesicles, and that bilayers in bicelles favor domain formation.

  10. Punching Holes in Membranes: How Oligomeric Pore-Forming Proteins and Lipids Cooperate to Form Aqueous Channels in Membranes (United States)

    Fradin, Cécile; Satsoura, Dmitri; Andrews, David W.

    Many important biological processes are carried out by a small number of proteins working together as a team to accomplish a specific task. Cooperation between the different proteins is often accomplished through the formation of a supramolecular complex, comprised of either identical or different subunits. Although the formation of protein assemblies is a favored mechanism throughout the cell, it becomes especially important in lipid membranes, as evidenced by the numerous cellular events that are either triggered by or result in the formation of protein complexes in membranes. However, due to the difficulties associated with the study of membrane proteins, the formation of oligomers in lipid membranes is perhaps one of the least understood cellular processes. In this chapter we focus our attention on a subset of membrane complexes — namely, those formed by proteins that are able to pass from a water-soluble to a transmembrane form in order to create a water-filled channel through the lipid membrane. These pore-forming proteins (PFPs) are found in many organisms throughout different kingdoms of life, from bacteria to human. They are often involved in cell death mechanisms through their capacity to break membrane permeability barriers, which can lead to dissipation of the membrane potential as well as introduction or leakage of enzymatic proteins. In fact, a large subset of the PFPs are toxins, and referred to in the literature as pore-forming toxins (PFTs). The association of several monomers into an oligomer is almost always an important aspect of the modus operandi of these proteins. Oligomerization can be useful in several ways: it results in structures large enough to delineate nanometer-size water-filled channels in lipid bilayers, it ensures the presence of large hydrophobic surfaces that can support insertion in the membrane, and it permits cooperative formation and insertion mechanisms.

  11. Membrane Binding of HIV-1 Matrix Protein: Dependence on Bilayer Composition and Protein Lipidation (United States)

    Barros, Marilia; Nanda, Hirsh


    ABSTRACT By assembling in a protein lattice on the host's plasma membrane, the retroviral Gag polyprotein triggers formation of the viral protein/membrane shell. The MA domain of Gag employs multiple signals—electrostatic, hydrophobic, and lipid-specific—to bring the protein to the plasma membrane, thereby complementing protein-protein interactions, located in full-length Gag, in lattice formation. We report the interaction of myristoylated and unmyristoylated HIV-1 Gag MA domains with bilayers composed of purified lipid components to dissect these complex membrane signals and quantify their contributions to the overall interaction. Surface plasmon resonance on well-defined planar membrane models is used to quantify binding affinities and amounts of protein and yields free binding energy contributions, ΔG, of the various signals. Charge-charge interactions in the absence of the phosphatidylinositide PI(4,5)P2 attract the protein to acidic membrane surfaces, and myristoylation increases the affinity by a factor of 10; thus, our data do not provide evidence for a PI(4,5)P2 trigger of myristate exposure. Lipid-specific interactions with PI(4,5)P2, the major signal lipid in the inner plasma membrane, increase membrane attraction at a level similar to that of protein lipidation. While cholesterol does not directly engage in interactions, it augments protein affinity strongly by facilitating efficient myristate insertion and PI(4,5)P2 binding. We thus observe that the isolated MA protein, in the absence of protein-protein interaction conferred by the full-length Gag, binds the membrane with submicromolar affinities. IMPORTANCE Like other retroviral species, the Gag polyprotein of HIV-1 contains three major domains: the N-terminal, myristoylated MA domain that targets the protein to the plasma membrane of the host; a central capsid-forming domain; and the C-terminal, genome-binding nucleocapsid domain. These domains act in concert to condense Gag into a membrane

  12. OSBP-Related Protein Family: Mediators of Lipid Transport and Signaling at Membrane Contact Sites. (United States)

    Kentala, Henriikka; Weber-Boyvat, Marion; Olkkonen, Vesa M


    Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and its related protein homologs, ORPs, constitute a conserved family of lipid-binding/transfer proteins (LTPs) expressed ubiquitously in eukaryotes. The ligand-binding domain of ORPs accommodates cholesterol and oxysterols, but also glycerophospholipids, particularly phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P). ORPs have been implicated as intracellular lipid sensors or transporters. Most ORPs carry targeting determinants for the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and non-ER organelle membrane. ORPs are located and function at membrane contact sites (MCSs), at which ER is closely apposed with other organelle limiting membranes. Such sites have roles in lipid transport and metabolism, control of Ca(2+) fluxes, and signaling events. ORPs are postulated either to transport lipids over MCSs to maintain the distinct lipid compositions of organelle membranes, or to control the activity of enzymes/protein complexes with functions in signaling and lipid metabolism. ORPs may transfer PI4P and another lipid class bidirectionally. Transport of PI4P followed by its hydrolysis would in this model provide the energy for transfer of the other lipid against its concentration gradient. Control of organelle lipid compositions by OSBP/ORPs is important for the life cycles of several pathogenic viruses. Targeting ORPs with small-molecular antagonists is proposed as a new strategy to combat viral infections. Several ORPs are reported to modulate vesicle transport along the secretory or endocytic pathways. Moreover, antagonists of certain ORPs inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Thus, ORPs are LTPs, which mediate interorganelle lipid transport and coordinate lipid signals with a variety of cellular regimes.

  13. The Membrane and Lipids as Integral Participants in Signal Transduction: Lipid Signal Transduction for the Non-Lipid Biochemist (United States)

    Eyster, Kathleen M.


    Reviews of signal transduction have often focused on the cascades of protein kinases and protein phosphatases and their cytoplasmic substrates that become activated in response to extracellular signals. Lipids, lipid kinases, and lipid phosphatases have not received the same amount of attention as proteins in studies of signal transduction.…

  14. Sustained Epigenetic Drug Delivery Depletes Cholesterol-Sphingomyelin Rafts from Resistant Breast Cancer Cells, Influencing Biophysical Characteristics of Membrane Lipids. (United States)

    Raghavan, Vijay; Vijayaraghavalu, Sivakumar; Peetla, Chiranjeevi; Yamada, Masayoshi; Morisada, Megan; Labhasetwar, Vinod


    Cell-membrane lipid composition can greatly influence biophysical properties of cell membranes, affecting various cellular functions. We previously showed that lipid synthesis becomes altered in the membranes of resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR); they form a more rigid, hydrophobic lipid monolayer than do sensitive cell membranes (MCF-7). These changes in membrane lipids of resistant cells, attributed to epigenetic aberration, significantly affected drug transport and endocytic function, thus impacting the efficacy of anticancer drugs. The present study's objective was to determine the effects of the epigenetic drug, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), delivered in sustained-release nanogels (DAC-NGs), on the composition and biophysical properties of membrane lipids of resistant cells. Resistant and sensitive cells were treated with DAC in solution (DAC-sol) or DAC-NGs, and cell-membrane lipids were isolated and analyzed for lipid composition and biophysical properties. In resistant cells, we found increased formation of cholesterol-sphingomyelin (CHOL-SM) rafts with culturing time, whereas DAC treatment reduced their formation. In general, the effect of DAC-NGs was greater in changing the lipid composition than with DAC-sol. DAC treatment also caused a rise in levels of certain phospholipids and neutral lipids known to increase membrane fluidity, while reducing the levels of certain lipids known to increase membrane rigidity. Isotherm data showed increased lipid membrane fluidity following DAC treatment, attributed to decrease levels of CHOL-SM rafts (lamellar beta [Lβ] structures or ordered gel) and a corresponding increase in lipids that form lamellar alpha-structures (Lα, liquid crystalline phase). Sensitive cells showed marginal or insignificant changes in lipid profile following DAC-treatment, suggesting that epigenetic changes affecting lipid biosynthesis are more specific to resistant cells. Since membrane fluidity plays a major role in drug transport

  15. Deciphering How Pore Formation Causes Strain-Induced Membrane Lysis of Lipid Vesicles. (United States)

    Jackman, Joshua A; Goh, Haw Zan; Zhdanov, Vladimir P; Knoll, Wolfgang; Cho, Nam-Joon


    Pore formation by membrane-active antimicrobial peptides is a classic strategy of pathogen inactivation through disruption of membrane biochemical gradients. It remains unknown why some membrane-active peptides also inhibit enveloped viruses, which do not depend on biochemical gradients. Here, we employ a label-free biosensing approach based on simultaneous quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation and ellipsometry measurements in order to investigate how a pore-forming, virucidal peptide destabilizes lipid vesicles in a surface-based experimental configuration. A key advantage of the approach is that it enables direct kinetic measurement of the surface-bound peptide-to-lipid (P:L) ratio. Comprehensive experiments involving different bulk peptide concentrations and biologically relevant membrane compositions support a unified model that membrane lysis occurs at or above a critical P:L ratio, which is at least several-fold greater than the value corresponding to the onset of pore formation. That is consistent with peptide-induced pores causing additional membrane strain that leads to lysis of highly curved membranes. Collectively, the work presents a new model that describes how peptide-induced pores may destabilize lipid membranes through a membrane strain-related lytic process, and this knowledge has important implications for the design and application of membrane-active peptides.

  16. Exploring lipid dynamics in photosensitive membranes by quasielastic neutron scattering techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shen, Chen; Peters, Judith; Pieper, Jörg

    hydrophobic part. Upon light illumination with proper wavelengths, the reversible conformational change of the headgroup (365nm: trans to cis; 455nm: cis to trans) does modify the membrane structure, and most probably as well the lipid dynamics of the membrane. We report on a study on bilayer stacks...


    NARCIS (Netherlands)



    A highly enriched plasma membrane fraction was isolated by two phase partitioning from wheat roots (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Vivant) grown with and without 100 mM NaCl. The lipids of the plasma membrane fraction were extracted and characterized. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine were

  18. Biomimetic interfaces based on S-layer proteins, lipid membranes and functional biomolecules. (United States)

    Schuster, Bernhard; Sleytr, Uwe B


    Designing and utilization of biomimetic membrane systems generated by bottom-up processes is a rapidly growing scientific and engineering field. Elucidation of the supramolecular construction principle of archaeal cell envelopes composed of S-layer stabilized lipid membranes led to new strategies for generating highly stable functional lipid membranes at meso- and macroscopic scale. In this review, we provide a state-of-the-art survey of how S-layer proteins, lipids and polymers may be used as basic building blocks for the assembly of S-layer-supported lipid membranes. These biomimetic membrane systems are distinguished by a nanopatterned fluidity, enhanced stability and longevity and, thus, provide a dedicated reconstitution matrix for membrane-active peptides and transmembrane proteins. Exciting areas in the (lab-on-a-) biochip technology are combining composite S-layer membrane systems involving specific membrane functions with the silicon world. Thus, it might become possible to create artificial noses or tongues, where many receptor proteins have to be exposed and read out simultaneously. Moreover, S-layer-coated liposomes and emulsomes copying virus envelopes constitute promising nanoformulations for the production of novel targeting, delivery, encapsulation and imaging systems.

  19. Positioning lipid membrane domains in giant vesicles by micro-organization of aqueous cytoplasm mimic. (United States)

    Cans, Ann-Sofie; Andes-Koback, Meghan; Keating, Christine D


    We report localization of lipid membrane microdomains to specific "poles" of asymmetric giant vesicles (GVs) in response to local internal composition. Interior aqueous microdomains were generated in a simple model cytoplasm composed of a poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)/dextran aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) encapsulated in the vesicles. The GV membrane composition used here was a modification of a DOPC/DPPC/cholesterol mixture known to form micrometer-scale liquid ordered and liquid disordered domains; we added lipids with PEG 2000 Da-modified headgroups. Osmotically induced budding of the ATPS-containing GVs led to structures where the PEG-rich and dextran-rich interior aqueous phases were in contact with different regions of the vesicle membrane. Liquid ordered (L o) membrane domains rich in PEG-terminated lipids preferentially coated the PEG-rich aqueous phase vesicle "body", while coexisting liquid disordered (L d) membrane domains coated the dextran-rich aqueous phase "bud". Membrane domain positioning resulted from interactions between lipid headgroups and the interior aqueous polymer solutions, e.g., PEGylated headgroups with PEG and dextran polymers. Heating resulted first in patchy membranes where L o and L d domains no longer showed any preference for coating the PEG-rich vs dextran-rich interior aqueous volumes, and eventually complete lipid mixing. Upon cooling lipid domains again coated their preferred interior aqueous microvolume. This work shows that nonspecific interactions between interior aqueous contents and the membrane that encapsulates them can drive local chemical heterogeneity, and offers a primitive experimental model for membrane and cytoplasmic polarity in biological cells.

  20. On the edge energy of lipid membranes and the thermodynamic stability of pores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pera, H.; Kleijn, J. M.; Leermakers, F. A. M., E-mail: [Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science, W ageningen University, Dreijenplein 6, 6307 HB Wageningen (Netherlands)


    To perform its barrier function, the lipid bilayer membrane requires a robust resistance against pore formation. Using a self-consistent field (SCF) theory and a molecularly detailed model for membranes composed of charged or zwitterionic lipids, it is possible to predict structural, mechanical, and thermodynamical parameters for relevant lipid bilayer membranes. We argue that the edge energy in membranes is a function of the spontaneous lipid monolayer curvature, the mean bending modulus, and the membrane thickness. An analytical Helfrich-like model suggests that most bilayers should have a positive edge energy. This means that there is a natural resistance against pore formation. Edge energies evaluated explicitly in a two-gradient SCF model are consistent with this. Remarkably, the edge energy can become negative for phosphatidylglycerol (e.g., dioleoylphosphoglycerol) bilayers at a sufficiently low ionic strength. Such bilayers become unstable against the formation of pores or the formation of lipid disks. In the weakly curved limit, we study the curvature dependence of the edge energy and evaluate the preferred edge curvature and the edge bending modulus. The latter is always positive, and the former increases with increasing ionic strength. These results point to a small window of ionic strengths for which stable pores can form as too low ionic strengths give rise to lipid disks. Higher order curvature terms are necessary to accurately predict relevant pore sizes in bilayers. The electric double layer overlap across a small pore widens the window of ionic strengths for which pores are stable.

  1. Folding of β-barrel membrane proteins in lipid bilayers - Unassisted and assisted folding and insertion. (United States)

    Kleinschmidt, Jörg H


    In cells, β-barrel membrane proteins are transported in unfolded form to an outer membrane into which they fold and insert. Model systems have been established to investigate the mechanisms of insertion and folding of these versatile proteins into detergent micelles, lipid bilayers and even synthetic amphipathic polymers. In these experiments, insertion into lipid membranes is initiated from unfolded forms that do not display residual β-sheet secondary structure. These studies therefore have allowed the investigation of membrane protein folding and insertion in great detail. Folding of β-barrel membrane proteins into lipid bilayers has been monitored from unfolded forms by dilution of chaotropic denaturants that keep the protein unfolded as well as from unfolded forms present in complexes with molecular chaperones from cells. This review is aimed to provide an overview of the principles and mechanisms observed for the folding of β-barrel transmembrane proteins into lipid bilayers, the importance of lipid-protein interactions and the function of molecular chaperones and folding assistants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions.

  2. Effects of terpenes on fluidity and lipid extraction in phospholipid membranes. (United States)

    Mendanha, Sebastião Antonio; Alonso, Antonio


    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was used in a detailed study of the interactions of several terpenes with DPPC membranes. EPR spectra of a spin-label lipid allowed the identification of two well-resolved spectral components at temperatures below and above the main phase transition of the lipid bilayer. Terpenes caused only slight mobility increases in each of these spectral components; however, they substantially increased the population of the more mobile component. In addition, the terpenes reduced the temperature of the main phase transition by more than 8 °C and caused the extraction of the spin-labeled lipid. Nerolidol, which had the highest octanol-water partition coefficient, generated the highest amount of spin label extraction. Acting as spacers, terpenes should cause major reorganization in cell membranes, leading to an increase in the overall molecular dynamics of the membrane. At higher concentrations, terpenes may cause lipid extraction and thus leakage of the cytoplasmic content.

  3. The C-terminal Cytosolic Region of Rim21 Senses Alterations in Plasma Membrane Lipid Composition: INSIGHTS INTO SENSING MECHANISMS FOR PLASMA MEMBRANE LIPID ASYMMETRY. (United States)

    Nishino, Kanako; Obara, Keisuke; Kihara, Akio


    Yeast responds to alterations in plasma membrane lipid asymmetry and external alkalization via the sensor protein Rim21 in the Rim101 pathway. However, the sensing mechanism used by Rim21 remains unclear. Here, we found that the C-terminal cytosolic domain of Rim21 (Rim21C) fused with GFP was associated with the plasma membrane under normal conditions but dissociated upon alterations in lipid asymmetry or external alkalization. This indicates that Rim21C contains a sensor motif. Rim21C contains multiple clusters of charged residues. Among them, three consecutive Glu residues (EEE motif) were essential for Rim21 function and dissociation of Rim21C from the plasma membrane in response to changes in lipid asymmetry. In contrast, positively charged residues adjacent to the EEE motif were required for Rim21C to associate with the membrane. We therefore propose an "antenna hypothesis," in which Rim21C moves to or from the plasma membrane and functions as the sensing mechanism of Rim21.

  4. Lipid Rafts: Linking Alzheimer's Amyloid-β Production, Aggregation, and Toxicity at Neuronal Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jo V. Rushworth


    Full Text Available Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains, enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids, into which specific subsets of proteins and lipids partition, creating cell-signalling platforms that are vital for neuronal functions. Lipid rafts play at least three crucial roles in Alzheimer's Disease (AD, namely, in promoting the generation of the amyloid-β (Aβ peptide, facilitating its aggregation upon neuronal membranes to form toxic oligomers and hosting specific neuronal receptors through which the AD-related neurotoxicity and memory impairments of the Aβ oligomers are transduced. Recent evidence suggests that Aβ oligomers may exert their deleterious effects through binding to, and causing the aberrant clustering of, lipid raft proteins including the cellular prion protein and glutamate receptors. The formation of these pathogenic lipid raft-based platforms may be critical for the toxic signalling mechanisms that underlie synaptic dysfunction and neuropathology in AD.

  5. Intrinsic potential of cell membranes: opposite effects of lipid transmembrane asymmetry and asymmetric salt ion distribution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gurtovenko, Andrey A; Vattulainen, Ilpo


    Using atomic-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we consider the intrinsic cell membrane potential that is found to originate from a subtle interplay between lipid transmembrane asymmetry and the asymmetric distribution of monovalent salt ions on the two sides of the cell membrane. It turns out......Cl saline solution and the PE leaflet is exposed to KCl, the outcome is that the effects of asymmetric lipid and salt ion distributions essentially cancel one another almost completely. Overall, our study highlights the complex nature of the intrinsic potential of cell membranes under physiological...

  6. Equilibrium microphase separation in the two-leaflet model of lipid membranes (United States)

    Reigada, Ramon; Mikhailov, Alexander S.


    Because of the coupling between local lipid composition and the thickness of the membrane, microphase separation in two-component lipid membranes can take place; such effects may underlie the formation of equilibrium nanoscale rafts. Using a kinetic description, this phenomenon is analytically and numerically investigated. The phase diagram is constructed through the stability analysis for linearized kinetic equations, and conditions for microphase separation are discussed. Simulations of the full kinetic model reveal the development of equilibrium membrane nanostructures with various morphologies from the initial uniform state.

  7. Diffusion of water and selected atoms in DMPC lipid bilayer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Flemming Yssing; Peters, Günther H.J.; Taub, H.;


    with the diffusion rate of selected atoms in the lipid molecules shows that ∼6 water molecules per lipid molecule move on the same time scale as the lipids and may therefore be considered to be tightly bound to them. The quasielastic neutron scattering functions for water and selected atoms in the lipid molecule......Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to determine the diffusion of water molecules as a function of their position in a fully hydrated freestanding 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine (DMPC) bilayer membrane at 303 K and 1 atm. The diffusion rate of water in a ∼10 Å thick layer...

  8. In Situ Characterizing Membrane Lipid Phenotype of Human Lung Cancer Cell Lines Using Mass Spectrometry Profiling



    Abnormal lipid metabolisms are closely associated with cancers. In this study, mass spectrometry was employed to in situ investigate the associations of membrane lipid phenotypes of six human lung cancer cell lines (i.e., A549, H1650, H1975 from adenocarcinoma, H157 and H1703 from squamous cell carcinomas, and H460 from a large cell carcinoma) with cancer cell types and finally total 230 lipids were detected. Based these 230 lipids, partial least-square discriminant analysis indicated that fi...

  9. Sizes of lipid domains: What do we know from artificial lipid membranes? What are the possible shared features with membrane rafts in cells? (United States)

    Rosetti, Carla M; Mangiarotti, Agustín; Wilke, Natalia


    In model lipid membranes with phase coexistence, domain sizes distribute in a very wide range, from the nanometer (reported in vesicles and supported films) to the micrometer (observed in many model membranes). Domain growth by coalescence and Ostwald ripening is slow (minutes to hours), the domain size being correlated with the size of the capture region. Domain sizes thus strongly depend on the number of domains which, in the case of a nucleation process, depends on the oversaturation of the system, on line tension and on the perturbation rate in relation to the membrane dynamics. Here, an overview is given of the factors that affect nucleation or spinodal decomposition and domain growth, and their influence on the distribution of domain sizes in different model membranes is discussed. The parameters analyzed respond to very general physical rules, and we therefore propose a similar behavior for the rafts in the plasma membrane of cells, but with obstructed mobility and with a continuously changing environment.

  10. Protective effect of Apocynum venetum (罗布麻) against lipid peroxidation damage of erythrocyte membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhou Benhong; Liu Gang; Hu Xianmin


    Objective: To investigate the protective effect of Apocynum venetum on lipid peroxidation damage of erythrocyte membrane. Methods: Model of lipid peroxidation of erythrocyte membrane was manufactured by three kinds of radicals generation systems. To set up a normal control group (NC), a model control group (MC), and four Apocynum venetum groups(A.V). Observation was made on the content of malondialdehyde (MDA). Results: Compared with MC group, all of the four Apocynum venetum groups dose-dependently inhibited the increases of MDA content in the membrane induced by xanthine - xanthine oxidase system, H2O2 or UV light. Conclusions: Apocynum venetum may protect erythrocyte membrane from the lipid peroxidative damage induced by radicals.

  11. Molecular view on protein sorting into liquid-ordered membrane domains mediated by gangliosides and lipid anchors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Djurre H.; Lopez, Cesar A.; Marrink, Siewert J.


    We present results from coarse grain molecular dynamics simulations of mixed model membranes consisting of saturated and unsaturated lipids together with cholesterol, in which lipid-anchored membrane proteins are embedded. The membrane proteins studied are the peripherally bound H-Ras, N-Ras, and He

  12. Lateral diffusion of PEG-Lipid in magnetically aligned bicelles measured using stimulated echo pulsed field gradient 1H NMR. (United States)

    Soong, Ronald; Macdonald, Peter M


    Lateral diffusion measurements of PEG-lipid incorporated into magnetically aligned bicelles are demonstrated using stimulated echo (STE) pulsed field gradient (PFG) proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Bicelles were composed of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) plus dihexanoyl phosphatidylcholine (DHPC) (q = DMPC/DHPC molar ratio = 4.5) plus 1 mol % (relative to DMPC) dimyristoyl phosphatidylethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethylene glycol)-2000] (DMPE-PEG 2000) at 25 wt % lipid. 1H NMR STE spectra of perpendicular aligned bicelles contained only resonances assigned to residual HDO and to overlapping contributions from a DMPE-PEG 2000 ethoxy headgroup plus DHPC choline methyl protons. Decay of the latter's STE intensity in the STE PFG 1H NMR experiment (g(z) = 244 G cm(-1)) yielded a DMPE-PEG 2000 (1 mol %, 35 degrees C) lateral diffusion coefficient D = 1.35 x 10(-11) m2 s(-1). Hence, below the "mushroom-to-brush" transition, DMPE-PEG 2000 lateral diffusion is dictated by its DMPE hydrophobic anchor. D was independent of the diffusion time, indicating unrestricted lateral diffusion over root mean-square diffusion distances of microns, supporting the "perforated lamellae" model of bicelle structure under these conditions. Overall, the results demonstrate the feasibility of lateral diffusion measurements in magnetically aligned bicelles using the STE PFG NMR technique.

  13. Quantitative analysis of molecular partition towards lipid membranes using surface plasmon resonance (United States)

    Figueira, Tiago N.; Freire, João M.; Cunha-Santos, Catarina; Heras, Montserrat; Gonçalves, João; Moscona, Anne; Porotto, Matteo; Salomé Veiga, Ana; Castanho, Miguel A. R. B.


    Understanding the interplay between molecules and lipid membranes is fundamental when studying cellular and biotechnological phenomena. Partition between aqueous media and lipid membranes is key to the mechanism of action of many biomolecules and drugs. Quantifying membrane partition, through adequate and robust parameters, is thus essential. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is a powerful technique for studying 1:1 stoichiometric interactions but has limited application to lipid membrane partition data. We have developed and applied a novel mathematical model for SPR data treatment that enables determination of kinetic and equilibrium partition constants. The method uses two complementary fitting models for association and dissociation sensorgram data. The SPR partition data obtained for the antibody fragment F63, the HIV fusion inhibitor enfuvirtide, and the endogenous drug kyotorphin towards POPC membranes were compared against data from independent techniques. The comprehensive kinetic and partition models were applied to the membrane interaction data of HRC4, a measles virus entry inhibitor peptide, revealing its increased affinity for, and retention in, cholesterol-rich membranes. Overall, our work extends the application of SPR beyond the realm of 1:1 stoichiometric ligand-receptor binding into a new and immense field of applications: the interaction of solutes such as biomolecules and drugs with lipids. PMID:28358389

  14. A generic model for lipid monolayers, bilayers, and membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Schmid, F; Lenz, O; West, B


    We describe a simple coarse-grained model which is suited to study lipid layers and their phase transitions. Lipids are modeled by short semiflexible chains of beads with a solvophilic head and a solvophobic tail component. They are forced to self-assemble into bilayers by a computationally cheap `phantom solvent' environment. The model reproduces the most important phases and phase transitions of monolayers and bilayers. Technical issues such as Monte Carlo parallelization schemes are briefly discussed.

  15. Elasto-plasticity in wrinkled polymerized lipid membranes



    Biomembranes shown to behave like elastic sheets, can also suffer plastic deformations. Neutron scattering experiments on partially polymerised wrinkled membranes revealed that when a critical degree of polymerisation is crossed, the wrinkled membranes do not resume their spherical shapes. Instead they remain wrinkled and rigid while their non-polymerised counterparts resume their spherical floppy shapes. The yield stress of these membranes, measured for the first time via the fractal dimensi...

  16. Laurdan monitors different lipids content in eukaryotic membrane during embryonic neural development. (United States)

    Bonaventura, Gabriele; Barcellona, Maria Luisa; Golfetto, Ottavia; Nourse, Jamison L; Flanagan, Lisa A; Gratton, Enrico


    We describe a method based on fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to assess the fluidity of various membranes in neuronal cells at different stages of development [day 12 (E12) and day 16 (E16) of gestation]. For the FLIM measurements, we use the Laurdan probe which is commonly used to assess membrane water penetration in model and in biological membranes using spectral information. Using the FLIM approach, we build a fluidity scale based on calibration with model systems of different lipid compositions. In neuronal cells, we found a marked difference in fluidity between the internal membranes and the plasma membrane, being the plasma membrane the less fluid. However, we found no significant differences between the two cell groups, E12 and E16. Comparison with NIH3T3 cells shows that the plasma membranes of E12 and E16 cells are significantly more fluid than the plasma membrane of the cancer cells.

  17. Thermodynamics and mechanics of membrane curvature generation and sensing by proteins and lipids. (United States)

    Baumgart, Tobias; Capraro, Benjamin R; Zhu, Chen; Das, Sovan L


    Research investigating lipid membrane curvature generation and sensing is a rapidly developing frontier in membrane physical chemistry and biophysics. The fast recent progress is based on the discovery of a plethora of proteins involved in coupling membrane shape to cellular membrane function, the design of new quantitative experimental techniques to study aspects of membrane curvature, and the development of analytical theories and simulation techniques that allow a mechanistic interpretation of quantitative measurements. The present review first provides an overview of important classes of membrane proteins for which function is coupled to membrane curvature. We then survey several mechanisms that are assumed to underlie membrane curvature sensing and generation. Finally, we discuss relatively simple thermodynamic/mechanical models that allow quantitative interpretation of experimental observations.

  18. Amyloid β Ion Channels in a Membrane Comprising Brain Total Lipid Extracts. (United States)

    Lee, Joon; Kim, Young Hun; T Arce, Fernando; Gillman, Alan L; Jang, Hyunbum; Kagan, Bruce L; Nussinov, Ruth; Yang, Jerry; Lal, Ratnesh


    Amyloid β (Aβ) oligomers are the predominant toxic species in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. The prevailing mechanism for toxicity by Aβ oligomers includes ionic homeostasis destabilization in neuronal cells by forming ion channels. These channel structures have been previously studied in model lipid bilayers. In order to gain further insight into the interaction of Aβ oligomers with natural membrane compositions, we have examined the structures and conductivities of Aβ oligomers in a membrane composed of brain total lipid extract (BTLE). We utilized two complementary techniques: atomic force microscopy (AFM) and black lipid membrane (BLM) electrical recording. Our results indicate that Aβ1-42 forms ion channel structures in BTLE membranes, accompanied by a heterogeneous population of ionic current fluctuations. Notably, the observed current events generated by Aβ1-42 peptides in BTLE membranes possess different characteristics compared to current events generated by the presence of Aβ1-42 in model membranes comprising a 1:1 mixture of DOPS and POPE lipids. Oligomers of the truncated Aβ fragment Aβ17-42 (p3) exhibited similar ion conductivity behavior as Aβ1-42 in BTLE membranes. However, the observed macroscopic ion flux across the BTLE membranes induced by Aβ1-42 pores was larger than for p3 pores. Our analysis of structure and conductance of oligomeric Aβ pores in a natural lipid membrane closely mimics the in vivo cellular environment suggesting that Aβ pores could potentially accelerate the loss of ionic homeostasis and cellular abnormalities. Hence, these pore structures may serve as a target for drug development and therapeutic strategies for AD treatment.

  19. Effect of Gold Nanoparticle on Structure and Fluidity of Lipid Membrane (United States)

    Mhashal, Anil R.; Roy, Sudip


    This paper deals with the effect of different size gold nanoparticles on the fluidity of lipid membrane at different regions of the bilayer. To investigate this, we have considered significantly large bilayer leaflets and incorporated only one nanoparticle each time, which was subjected to all atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. We have observed that, lipid molecules located near to the gold nanoparticle interact directly with it, which results in deformation of lipid structure and slower dynamics of lipid molecules. However, lipid molecules far away from the interaction site of the nanoparticle get perturbed, which gives rise to increase in local ordering of the lipid domains and decrease in fluidity. The bilayer thickness and area per head group in this region also get altered. Similar trend, but with different magnitude is also observed when different size nanoparticle interact with the bilayer. PMID:25469786

  20. Effects of deformability and thermal motion of lipid membrane on electroporation: By molecular dynamics simulations

    KAUST Repository

    Sun, Sheng


    Effects of mechanical properties and thermal motion of POPE lipid membrane on electroporation were studied by molecular dynamics simulations. Among simulations in which specific atoms of lipids were artificially constrained at their equilibrium positions using a spring with force constant of 2.0kcal/(molÅ2) in the external electric field of 1.4kcal/(molÅe), only constraint on lateral motions of lipid tails prohibited electroporation while non-tail parts had little effects. When force constant decreased to 0.2kcal/(molÅ2) in the position constraints on lipid tails in the external electric field of 2.0kcal/(molÅe), water molecules began to enter the membrane. Position constraints of lipid tails allow water to penetrate from both sides of membrane. Thermal motion of lipids can induce initial defects in the hydrophobic core of membrane, which are favorable nucleation sites for electroporation. Simulations at different temperatures revealed that as the temperature increases, the time taken to the initial pore formation will decrease. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

  1. Drosophila Lipophorin Receptors Recruit the Lipoprotein LTP to the Plasma Membrane to Mediate Lipid Uptake.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Míriam Rodríguez-Vázquez


    Full Text Available Lipophorin, the main Drosophila lipoprotein, circulates in the hemolymph transporting lipids between organs following routes that must adapt to changing physiological requirements. Lipophorin receptors expressed in developmentally dynamic patterns in tissues such as imaginal discs, oenocytes and ovaries control the timing and tissular distribution of lipid uptake. Using an affinity purification strategy, we identified a novel ligand for the lipophorin receptors, the circulating lipoprotein Lipid Transfer Particle (LTP. We show that specific isoforms of the lipophorin receptors mediate the extracellular accumulation of LTP in imaginal discs and ovaries. The interaction requires the LA-1 module in the lipophorin receptors and is strengthened by a contiguous region of 16 conserved amino acids. Lipophorin receptor variants that do not interact with LTP cannot mediate lipid uptake, revealing an essential role of LTP in the process. In addition, we show that lipophorin associates with the lipophorin receptors and with the extracellular matrix through weak interactions. However, during lipophorin receptor-mediated lipid uptake, LTP is required for a transient stabilization of lipophorin in the basolateral plasma membrane of imaginal disc cells. Together, our data suggests a molecular mechanism by which the lipophorin receptors tether LTP to the plasma membrane in lipid acceptor tissues. LTP would interact with lipophorin particles adsorbed to the extracellular matrix and with the plasma membrane, catalyzing the exchange of lipids between them.

  2. Brownian dynamics simulations of lipid bilayer membrane with hydrodynamic interactions in LAMMPS (United States)

    Fu, Szu-Pei; Young, Yuan-Nan; Peng, Zhangli; Yuan, Hongyan


    Lipid bilayer membranes have been extensively studied by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. Numerical efficiencies have been reported in the cases of aggressive coarse-graining, where several lipids are coarse-grained into a particle of size 4 6 nm so that there is only one particle in the thickness direction. Yuan et al. proposed a pair-potential between these one-particle-thick coarse-grained lipid particles to capture the mechanical properties of a lipid bilayer membrane (such as gel-fluid-gas phase transitions of lipids, diffusion, and bending rigidity). In this work we implement such interaction potential in LAMMPS to simulate large-scale lipid systems such as vesicles and red blood cells (RBCs). We also consider the effect of cytoskeleton on the lipid membrane dynamics as a model for red blood cell (RBC) dynamics, and incorporate coarse-grained water molecules to account for hydrodynamic interactions. The interaction between the coarse-grained water molecules (explicit solvent molecules) is modeled as a Lennard-Jones (L-J) potential. We focus on two sets of LAMMPS simulations: 1. Vesicle shape transitions with varying enclosed volume; 2. RBC shape transitions with different enclosed volume. This work is funded by NSF under Grant DMS-1222550.

  3. Lateral diffusion of membrane proteins: consequences of hydrophobic mismatch and lipid composition. (United States)

    Ramadurai, Sivaramakrishnan; Duurkens, Ria; Krasnikov, Victor V; Poolman, Bert


    Biological membranes are composed of a large number lipid species differing in hydrophobic length, degree of saturation, and charge and size of the headgroup. We now present data on the effect of hydrocarbon chain length of the lipids and headgroup composition on the lateral mobility of the proteins in model membranes. The trimeric glutamate transporter (GltT) and the monomeric lactose transporter (LacY) were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles composed of unsaturated phosphocholine lipids of varying acyl chain length (14-22 carbon atoms) and various ratios of DOPE/DOPG/DOPC lipids. The lateral mobility of the proteins and of a fluorescent lipid analog was determined as a function of the hydrophobic thickness of the bilayer (h) and lipid composition, using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The diffusion coefficient of LacY decreased with increasing thickness of the bilayer, in accordance with the continuum hydrodynamic model of Saffman-Delbrück. For GltT, the mobility had its maximum at diC18:1 PC, which is close to the hydrophobic thickness of the bilayer in vivo. The lateral mobility decreased linearly with the concentration of DOPE but was not affected by the fraction of anionic lipids from DOPG. The addition of DOPG and DOPE did not affect the activity of GltT. We conclude that the hydrophobic thickness of the bilayer is a major determinant of molecule diffusion in membranes, but protein-specific properties may lead to deviations from the Saffman-Delbrück model.

  4. Impedance measurements of self-assembled lipid bilayer membranes on the tip of an electrode. (United States)

    Bordi, F; Cametti, Cesare; Gliozzi, A


    Supported lipid membranes were self-assembled on the tip of a freshly cleaved silver wire, in the presence of an appropriate polarization voltage, to facilitate, during the membrane formation, the organization of the lipids into an ordered structure. Radiowave impedance spectroscopy measurements have been carried out to provide information on the relaxation properties of the system. We have measured the conductometric and dielectric properties of bilayers built up of different lipids [dipalmitoylphosphatidic acid (DPPA), 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), linoleic acid (LIN)] in a wide frequency range (from 10(3) to 10(6) Hz) and in electrolyte solutions of different ionic strengths, in the presence of uni-univalent (KCl) and di-univalent (CaCl(2), MgCl(2), ZnCl(2)) electrolytes. This made it possible to measure the influence of different cations and different lipid compositions on the membrane properties. In particular, we have found a different capacitive behaviour of the supported lipid bilayer membrane (s-BLM) structure in the presence of different counterions in the electrolyte solution. This peculiarity offers the opportunity for the preparation of a variety of biosensors with diverse applications in membrane biophysics, biochemistry and biotechnology.

  5. The effect of lipid composition on the permeability of fluorescent markers from photosensitized membranes. (United States)

    Ytzhak, Shany; Weitman, Hana; Ehrenberg, Benjamin


    There is evidence indicating that the cellular locus of PDT action by amphiphilic sensitizers are the cellular membranes. The photosensitization process causes oxidative damage to membrane components that can result in the cell's death. However, it was not yet established whether lipid oxidation can cause free passage of molecules through the membrane and, as a result, be the primary cause of the cell's death. In this work, we studied the effect of liposomes' lipid composition on the kinetics of the leakage of three fluorescent dyes, calcein, carboxyfluorescein and DTAF, which were trapped in the intraliposomal aqueous phase, after photosensitization with the photosensitizer deuteroporphyrin. We found that as the degree of fatty acid unsaturation increased, the photosensitized passage of these molecules through the lipid bilayer increased. We also found that the rate of leakage of these molecules was affected by their size and bulkiness as well as by their net electric charge. In liposomes that are composed of a lipid mixture similar to that of natural membranes, the observed passage of molecules through the membrane is slow. Thus, the photodynamic damage to lipids does not appear to be severe enough to be an immediate, primary cause of cell death in biological photosensitization.

  6. Strong influence of periodic boundary conditions on lateral diffusion in lipid bilayer membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camley, Brian A. [Center for Theoretical Biological Physics and Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, California 92093 (United States); Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Lerner, Michael G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana 47374 (United States); Laboratory of Computational Biology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 (United States); Pastor, Richard W. [Laboratory of Computational Biology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 (United States); Brown, Frank L. H. [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States); Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States)


    The Saffman-Delbrück hydrodynamic model for lipid-bilayer membranes is modified to account for the periodic boundary conditions commonly imposed in molecular simulations. Predicted lateral diffusion coefficients for membrane-embedded solid bodies are sensitive to box shape and converge slowly to the limit of infinite box size, raising serious doubts for the prospects of using detailed simulations to accurately predict membrane-protein diffusivities and related transport properties. Estimates for the relative error associated with periodic boundary artifacts are 50% and higher for fully atomistic models in currently feasible simulation boxes. MARTINI simulations of LacY membrane protein diffusion and LacY dimer diffusion in DPPC membranes and lipid diffusion in pure DPPC bilayers support the underlying hydrodynamic model.

  7. Strong influence of periodic boundary conditions on lateral diffusion in lipid bilayer membranes (United States)

    Camley, Brian A.; Lerner, Michael G.; Pastor, Richard W.; Brown, Frank L. H.


    The Saffman-Delbrück hydrodynamic model for lipid-bilayer membranes is modified to account for the periodic boundary conditions commonly imposed in molecular simulations. Predicted lateral diffusion coefficients for membrane-embedded solid bodies are sensitive to box shape and converge slowly to the limit of infinite box size, raising serious doubts for the prospects of using detailed simulations to accurately predict membrane-protein diffusivities and related transport properties. Estimates for the relative error associated with periodic boundary artifacts are 50% and higher for fully atomistic models in currently feasible simulation boxes. MARTINI simulations of LacY membrane protein diffusion and LacY dimer diffusion in DPPC membranes and lipid diffusion in pure DPPC bilayers support the underlying hydrodynamic model.

  8. Mechanism of interaction of monovalent ions with phosphatidylcholine lipid membranes. (United States)

    Vácha, Robert; Jurkiewicz, Piotr; Petrov, Michal; Berkowitz, Max L; Böckmann, Rainer A; Barucha-Kraszewska, Justyna; Hof, Martin; Jungwirth, Pavel


    Interactions of different anions with phospholipid membranes in aqueous salt solutions were investigated by molecular dynamics simulations and fluorescence solvent relaxation measurements. Both approaches indicate that the anion-membrane interaction increases with the size and softness of the anion. Calculations show that iodide exhibits a genuine affinity for the membrane, which is due to its pairing with the choline group and its propensity for the nonpolar region of the acyl chains, the latter being enhanced in polarizable calculations showing that the iodide number density profile is expanded toward the glycerol level. Solvent relaxation measurements using Laurdan confirm the influence of large soft ions on the membrane organization at the glycerol level. In contrast, chloride exhibits a peak at the membrane surface only in the presence of a surface-attracted cation, such as sodium but not potassium, suggesting that this behavior is merely a counterion effect.

  9. Membrane-Bound Alpha Synuclein Clusters Induce Impaired Lipid Diffusion and Increased Lipid Packing.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iyer, Aditya; Schilderink, Nathalie; Claessens, Mireille M A E; Subramaniam, Vinod


    The aggregation of membrane-bound α-synuclein (αS) into oligomers and/or amyloid fibrils has been suggested to cause membrane damage in in vitro model phospholipid membrane systems and in vivo. In this study, we investigate how αS interactions that precede the formation of well-defined aggregates in

  10. Electron paramagnetic resonance study of lipid and protein membrane components of erythrocytes oxidized with hydrogen peroxide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendanha, S.A.; Anjos, J.L.V.; Silva, A.H.M.; Alonso, A. [Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO (Brazil)


    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy of spin labels was used to monitor membrane dynamic changes in erythrocytes subjected to oxidative stress with hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}). The lipid spin label, 5-doxyl stearic acid, responded to dramatic reductions in membrane fluidity, which was correlated with increases in the protein content of the membrane. Membrane rigidity, associated with the binding of hemoglobin (Hb) to the erythrocyte membrane, was also indicated by a spin-labeled maleimide, 5-MSL, covalently bound to the sulfhydryl groups of membrane proteins. At 2% hematocrit, these alterations in membrane occurred at very low concentrations of H{sub 2}O{sub 2} (50 µM) after only 5 min of incubation at 37°C in azide phosphate buffer, pH 7.4. Lipid peroxidation, suggested by oxidative hemolysis and malondialdehyde formation, started at 300 µM H{sub 2}O{sub 2} (for incubation of 3 h), which is a concentration about six times higher than those detected with the probes. Ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol protected the membrane against lipoperoxidation, but did not prevent the binding of proteins to the erythrocyte membrane. Moreover, the antioxidant (+)-catechin, which also failed to prevent the cross-linking of cytoskeletal proteins with Hb, was very effective in protecting erythrocyte ghosts from lipid peroxidation induced by the Fenton reaction. This study also showed that EPR spectroscopy can be useful to assess the molecular dynamics of red blood cell membranes in both the lipid and protein domains and examine oxidation processes in a system that is so vulnerable to oxidation.

  11. Manipulating lipid membrane architecture by liquid crystal-analog curvature elasticity (Presentation Recording) (United States)

    Lee, Sin-Doo


    Soft matters such as liquid crystals and biological molecules exhibit a variety of interesting physical phenomena as well as new applications. Recently, in mimicking biological systems that have the ability to sense, regulate, grow, react, and regenerate in a highly responsive and self-adaptive manner, the significance of the liquid crystal order in living organisms, for example, a biological membrane possessing the lamellar order, is widely recognized from the viewpoints of physics and chemistry of interfaces and membrane biophysics. Lipid bilayers, resembling cell membranes, provide primary functions for the transport of biological components of ions and molecules in various cellular activities, including vesicle budding and membrane fusion, through lateral organization of the membrane components such as proteins. In this lecture, I will describe how the liquid crystal-analog curvature elasticity of a lipid bilayer plays a critical role in developing a new platform for understanding diverse biological functions at a cellular level. The key concept is to manipulate the local curvature at an interface between a solid substrate and a model membrane. Two representative examples will be demonstrated: one of them is the topographic control of lipid rafts in a combinatorial array where the ligand-receptor binding event occurs and the other concerns the reconstitution of a ring-type lipid raft in bud-mimicking architecture within the framework of the curvature elasticity.

  12. Membrane Protein Crystallization in Lipidic Mesophases. Hosting lipid affects on the crystallization and structure of a transmembrane peptide. (United States)

    Höfer, Nicole; Aragão, David; Lyons, Joseph A; Caffrey, Martin


    Gramicidin is an apolar pentadecapeptide antibiotic consisting of alternating D-and L-amino acids. It functions, in part, by creating pores in membranes of susceptible cells rendering them leaky to monovalent cations. The peptide should be able to traverse the host membrane either as a double stranded, intertwined double helix (DSDH) or as a head-to-head single stranded helix (HHSH). Current structure models are based on macromolecular X-ray crystallography (MX) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). However, the HHSH form has only been observed by NMR. The shape and size of the different gramicidin conformations differ. We speculated therefore that reconstituting it into a lipidic mesophase with bilayers of different microstructures would preferentially stabilize one form over the other. By using such mesophases for in meso crystallogenesis the expectation was that at least one would generate crystals of gramicidin in the HHSH form for structure determination by MX. This was tested using commercial and in-house synthesised lipids that support in meso crystallogenesis. Lipid acyl chain lengths were varied from 14 to 18 carbons to provide mesophases with a range of bilayer thicknesses. Unexpectedly, all lipids produced high quality, structure-grade crystals with gramicidin only in the DSDH conformation.

  13. Dynamical Clustering and the Origin of Raft-like Structures in a Model Lipid Membrane (United States)

    Starr, Francis


    We investigate the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using simulations of a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. In the liquid-ordered (LO) phase, lipid diffusion is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, giving rise to two distinct mobility groups: low-mobility lipids which are temporarily ``caged'', and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. The lipid molecules within these distinct mobility states cluster, giving rise to transient ``islands'' of enhanced mobility having the size and time scale expected for lipid ``rafts''. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. Such dynamic heterogeneity is ubiquitous in disordered condensed-phase systems. Thus, we hypothesize that rafts may originate from this universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. This perspective provides a new approach to understand membrane transport.

  14. The efficacy of trivalent cyclic hexapeptides to induce lipid clustering in PG/PE membranes correlates with their antimicrobial activity. (United States)

    Finger, Sebastian; Kerth, Andreas; Dathe, Margitta; Blume, Alfred


    Various models have been proposed for the sequence of events occurring after binding of specific antimicrobial peptides to lipid membranes. The lipid clustering model arose by the finding that antimicrobial peptides can induce a segregation of certain negatively charged lipids in lipid model membranes. Anionic lipid segregation by cationic peptides is initially an effect of charge interaction where the ratio of peptide and lipid charges is thought to be the decisive parameter in the peptide induced lipid demixing. However, the sequence of events following this initial lipid clustering is more complex and can lead to deactivation of membrane proteins involved in cell division or perturbation of lipid reorganization essential for cell division. In this study we used DSC and ITC techniques to investigate the effect of binding different cyclic hexapeptides with varying antimicrobial efficacy, to phosphatidylglycerol (PG)/phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) lipid membranes and their ability to induce lipid segregation in these mixtures. We found that these cyclic hexapeptides consisting of three charged and three aromatic amino acids showed indeed different abilities to induce lipid demixing depending on their amino acid composition and their sequence. The results clearly showed that the cationic amino acids are essential for electrostatic binding but that the three hydrophobic amino acids in the peptides and their position in the sequence also contribute to binding affinity and to the extent of induction of lipid clustering. The efficacy of these different hexapeptides to induce PG clusters in PG/PE membranes was found to be correlated with their antimicrobial activity.

  15. Well-aligned carbon nanotube array membrane and its field emission properties

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Ensembles of aligned and monodispersed carbon nanotubes (CNTs)can be prepared by templating method which involves fabrication of porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template, control of catalytic iron particle size and chemical vapor deposition of carbon in the cylindrical pores of AAO. Here we show that template-synthesized CNTs can be fabricated as well-aligned nanoporous CNTs membrane, which can be directly used as an electron field emitter. A low threshold electric field of 2-4 V/μm and maximum emission current density of ~12 mA/cm2 are observed. The results also show that the electron emission current is a function of the applied electrical field and the Fowler-Nordheim (F-N) plot almost follows a linear relationship which indicates a Fowler-Nordheim tunneling mechanism, and the field enhancement factor estimated is about 1100-7500. The simple and convenient approach should be significant for the development of nanotube devices integrated into field emission displays (FEDs) technology.

  16. Simulations of Pore Formation in Lipid Membranes: Reaction Coordinates, Convergence, Hysteresis, and Finite-Size Effects. (United States)

    Awasthi, Neha; Hub, Jochen S


    Transmembrane pores play an important role in various biophysical processes such as membrane permeation, membrane fusion, and antimicrobial peptide activity. In principal, all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provide an accurate model of pore formation in lipid membranes. However, the free energy landscape of transmembrane pore formation remains poorly understood, partly because potential of mean force (PMF) calculations of pore formation strongly depend on the choice of the reaction coordinate. In this study, we used umbrella sampling to compute PMFs for pore formation using three different reaction coordinates, namely, (i) a coordinate that steers the lipids in the lateral direction away from the pore center, (ii) the distance of a single lipid phosphate group from the membrane center, and (iii) the average water density inside a membrane-spanning cylinder. Our results show that while the three reaction coordinates efficiently form pores in membranes, they suffer from strong hysteresis between pore-opening and pore-closing simulations, suggesting that they do not restrain the systems close to the transition state for pore formation. The two reaction coordinates that act via restraining the lipids lead to more pronounced hysteresis compared with the coordinate acting on the water molecules. By comparing PMFs computed from membranes with different numbers of lipids, we observed significant artifacts from the periodic boundary conditions in small simulation systems. Further analysis suggests that the formation and disruption of a continuous hydrogen-bonding network across the membrane corresponds to the transition state for pore formation. Our study provides molecular insights into the critical steps of transmembrane pore formation, and it may guide the development of efficient reaction coordinates for pore formation.

  17. Organic and inorganic osmolytes at lipid membrane interfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Westh, P.; Peters, Günther H.j.


    and inorganic components. Before turning to the physicochemical discussion of interfacial interactions, the chapter outlines some central parts of the biology and biotechnology of organic osmolytes. It reviews the central relationships in preferential interaction theory, which we use in subsequent paragraphs......This chapter discusses the interactions of organic osmolytes and membranous interfaces, and the effects of these interactions on the properties of the membrane. It also includes a treatment of inorganic ions at the membrane interface since osmolyte effects involve a balance between organic...

  18. Convenient synthesis and application of versatile nucleic acid lipid membrane anchors in the assembly and fusion of liposomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ries, Oliver; Löffler, Philipp M. G.; Vogel, Stefan


    Hydrophobic moieties like lipid membrane anchors are highly demanded modifications for nucleic acid oligomers. Membrane-anchor modified oligonucleotides are applicable in biomedicine leading to new delivery strategies as well as in biophysical investigations towards assembly and fusion of liposom...

  19. The Interaction of Polyglutamine Peptides with Lipid Membranes Is Regulated by Flanking Sequences Associated with Huntingtin* (United States)

    Burke, Kathleen A.; Kauffman, Karlina J.; Umbaugh, C. Samuel; Frey, Shelli L.; Legleiter, Justin


    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by an expanded polyglutamine (poly(Q)) repeat near the N terminus of the huntingtin (htt) protein. Expanded poly(Q) facilitates formation of htt aggregates, eventually leading to deposition of cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusion bodies containing htt. Flanking sequences directly adjacent to the poly(Q) domain, such as the first 17 amino acids on the N terminus (Nt17) and the polyproline (poly(P)) domain on the C-terminal side of the poly(Q) domain, heavily influence aggregation. Additionally, htt interacts with a variety of membraneous structures within the cell, and Nt17 is implicated in lipid binding. To investigate the interaction between htt exon1 and lipid membranes, a combination of in situ atomic force microscopy, Langmuir trough techniques, and vesicle permeability assays were used to directly monitor the interaction of a variety of synthetic poly(Q) peptides with different combinations of flanking sequences (KK-Q35-KK, KK-Q35-P10-KK, Nt17-Q35-KK, and Nt17-Q35-P10-KK) on model membranes and surfaces. Each peptide aggregated on mica, predominately forming extended, fibrillar aggregates. In contrast, poly(Q) peptides that lacked the Nt17 domain did not appreciably aggregate on or insert into lipid membranes. Nt17 facilitated the interaction of peptides with lipid surfaces, whereas the poly(P) region enhanced this interaction. The aggregation of Nt17-Q35-P10-KK on the lipid bilayer closely resembled that of a htt exon1 construct containing 35 repeat glutamines. Collectively, this data suggests that the Nt17 domain plays a critical role in htt binding and aggregation on lipid membranes, and this lipid/htt interaction can be further modulated by the presence of the poly(P) domain. PMID:23572526

  20. The enzymatic hydrolysis of lipids in a hydrophilic membrane bioreactor.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pronk, W.


    The production of fatty acids from lipids (fats and oils) currently takes place in a physical chemical process at a high temperature and pressure. Fatty acids are applied in numerous products such as soaps, detergents and chemicals for pharmaceutical, household and industrial applications. For certa

  1. Lipids and Membrane Microdomains in HIV-1 Replication


    Waheed, Abdul A.; Freed, Eric O.


    Several critical steps in the replication cycle of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) – entry, assembly and budding – are complex processes that take place at the plasma membrane of the host cell. A growing body of data indicates that these early and late steps in HIV-1 replication take place in specialized plasma membrane microdomains, and that many of the viral and cellular components required for entry, assembly, and budding are concentrated in these microdomains. In particular, a...

  2. Plasma lipid pattern and red cell membrane structure in β-thalassemia patients in Jakarta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seruni K.U. Freisleben


    Full Text Available Background: Over the last 10 years, we have investigated thalassemia patients in Jakarta to obtain a comprehensive picture of iron overload, oxidative stress, and cell damage.Methods: In blood samples from 15 transfusion-dependent patients (group T, 5 non-transfused patients (group N and 10 controls (group C, plasma lipids and lipoproteins, lipid-soluble vitamin E, malondialdehyde (MDA and thiol status were measured. Isolated eryhtrocyte membranes were investigated with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy using doxyl-stearic acid and maleimido-proxyl spin lables. Data were analyzed statistically with ANOVA.Results: Plasma triglycerides were higher and cholesterol levels were lower in thalassemic patients compared to controls. Vitamin E, group C: 21.8 vs T: 6.2 μmol/L and reactive thiols (C: 144 vs. T: 61 μmol/L were considerably lower in transfused patients, who exert clear signs of oxidative stress (MDA, C: 1.96 vs T: 9.2 μmol/L and of tissue cell damage, i.e., high transaminases plasma levels. Non-transfused thalassemia patients have slight signs of oxidative stress, but no significant indication of cell damage. Erythrocyte membrane parameters from EPR spectroscopy differ considerably between all groups. In transfusion-dependent patients the structure of the erythrocyte membrane and the gradients of polarity and fluidity are destroyed in lipid domains; binding capacity of protein thiols in the membrane is lower and immobilized.Conclusion: In tranfusion-dependent thalassemic patients, plasma lipid pattern and oxidative stress are associated with structural damage of isolated erythrocyte membranes as measured by EPR spectroscopy with lipid and proteinthiol spin labels. (Med J Indones 2011; 20:178-84Keywords: electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, erythrocyte membrane, lipoproteins, oxidative stress, thalassemia, plasma lipids.

  3. The C2 domains of granuphilin are high-affinity sensors for plasma membrane lipids. (United States)

    Lyakhova, Tatyana A; Knight, Jefferson D


    Membrane-targeting proteins are crucial components of many cell signaling pathways, including the secretion of insulin. Granuphilin, also known as synaptotagmin-like protein 4, functions in tethering secretory vesicles to the plasma membrane prior to exocytosis. Granuphilin docks to insulin secretory vesicles through interaction of its N-terminal domain with vesicular Rab proteins; however, the mechanisms of granuphilin plasma membrane targeting and release are less clear. Granuphilin contains two C2 domains, C2A and C2B, that interact with the plasma membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2]. The goal of this study was to determine membrane-binding mechanisms, affinities, and kinetics of both granuphilin C2 domains using fluorescence spectroscopic techniques. Results indicate that both C2A and C2B bind anionic lipids in a Ca(2+)-independent manner. The C2A domain binds liposomes containing a physiological mixture of lipids including 2% PI(4,5)P2 or PI(3,4,5)P3 with high affinity (apparent K(d, PIPx) of 2-5 nM), and binds nonspecifically with moderate affinity to anionic liposomes lacking phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIPx) lipids. The C2B domain binds with sub-micromolar affinity to liposomes containing PI(4,5)P2 but does not have a measurable affinity for background anionic lipids. Both domains can be competed away from their target lipids by the soluble PIPx analog inositol-(1,2,3,4,5,6)-hexakisphosphate (IP6), which is a positive regulator of insulin secretion. Potential roles of these interactions in the docking and release of granuphilin from the plasma membrane are discussed.

  4. Clostridium Perfringens Epsilon Toxin Binds to Membrane Lipids and Its Cytotoxic Action Depends on Sulfatide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carles Gil

    Full Text Available Epsilon toxin (Etx is one of the major lethal toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens types B and D, being the causal agent of fatal enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep and goats. Etx is synthesized as a non-active prototoxin form (proEtx that becomes active upon proteolytic activation. Etx exhibits a cytotoxic effect through the formation of a pore in the plasma membrane of selected cell targets where Etx specifically binds due to the presence of specific receptors. However, the identity and nature of host receptors of Etx remain a matter of controversy. In the present study, the interactions between Etx and membrane lipids from the synaptosome-enriched fraction from rat brain (P2 fraction and MDCK cell plasma membrane preparations were analyzed. Our findings show that both Etx and proEtx bind to lipids extracted from lipid rafts from the two different models as assessed by protein-lipid overlay assay. Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. Binding of proEtx to sulfatide, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol (3-phosphate and phosphatidylinositol (5-phosphate was detected. Removal of the sulphate groups via sulfatase treatment led to a dramatic decrease in Etx-induced cytotoxicity, but not in proEtx-GFP binding to MDCK cells or a significant shift in oligomer formation, pointing to a role of sulfatide in pore formation in rafts but not in toxin binding to the target cell membrane. These results show for the first time the interaction between Etx and membrane lipids from host tissue and point to a major role for sulfatides in C. perfringens epsilon toxin pathophysiology.

  5. Molecular dynamics study of lipid bilayers modeling the plasma membranes of mouse hepatocytes and hepatomas (United States)

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Aoki, Noriyuki; Okazaki, Susumu


    Molecular dynamics (MD) calculations of lipid bilayers modeling the plasma membranes of normal mouse hepatocytes and hepatomas in water have been performed under physiological isothermal-isobaric conditions (310.15 K and 1 atm). The changes in the membrane properties induced by hepatic canceration were investigated and were compared with previous MD calculations included in our previous study of the changes in membrane properties induced by murine thymic canceration. The calculated model membranes for normal hepatocytes and hepatomas comprised 23 and 24 kinds of lipids, respectively. These included phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophospholipids, and cholesterol. We referred to previously published experimental values for the mole fraction of the lipids adopted in the present calculations. The calculated structural and dynamic properties of the membranes such as lateral structure, order parameters, lateral self-diffusion constants, and rotational correlation times all showed that hepatic canceration causes plasma membranes to become more ordered laterally and less fluid. Interestingly, this finding contrasts with the less ordered structure and increased fluidity of plasma membranes induced by thymic canceration observed in our previous MD study.

  6. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Permeation of Bisphenol A and Pore Formation in a Lipid Membrane (United States)

    Chen, Liang; Chen, Junlang; Zhou, Guoquan; Wang, Yu; Xu, Can; Wang, Xiaogang


    Bisphenol A (BPA) is particularly considered as one of the most suspicious endocrine disruptors. Exposure to BPA may bring about possible human toxicities, such as cancerous tumors, birth defects and neoteny. One of the key issues to understand its toxicities is how BPA enters cells. In this paper, we perform molecular dynamics simulations to explore the interactions between BPA and a phospholipid membrane (dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, DPPC bilayer). The simulation results show that BPA can easily enter the membrane from the aqueous phase. With the increasing concentrations of BPA in the membrane, BPA tends to aggregate and form into cluster. Meanwhile, several DPPC lipids are pulled out from each leaflet and adsorbed on the cluster surface, leading to pore formation. Detailed observations indicate that the lipid extraction results mainly from the dispersion interactions between BPA cluster and lipid tails, as well as weak electrostatic attractions between lipid headgroups and the two hydroxyl groups on BPA. The lipid extraction and pore formation may cause cell membrane damage and are of great importance to uncover BPA’s cytotoxicity.

  7. Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus modulates its membrane lipids in response to hydrogen and nutrient availability (United States)

    Yoshinaga, Marcos Y.; Gagen, Emma J.; Wörmer, Lars; Broda, Nadine K.; Meador, Travis B.; Wendt, Jenny; Thomm, Michael; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe


    Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus strain ΔH is a model hydrogenotrophic methanogen, for which extensive biochemical information, including the complete genome sequence, is available. Nevertheless, at the cell membrane lipid level, little is known about the responses of this archaeon to environmental stimuli. In this study, the lipid composition of M. thermautotrophicus was characterized to verify how this archaeon modulates its cell membrane components during growth phases and in response to hydrogen depletion and nutrient limitation (potassium and phosphate). As opposed to the higher abundance of phospholipids in the stationary phase of control experiments, cell membranes under nutrient, and energy stress were dominated by glycolipids that likely provided a more effective barrier against ion leakage. We also identified particular lipid regulatory mechanisms in M. thermautotrophicus, which included the accumulation of polyprenols under hydrogen-limited conditions and an increased content of sodiated adducts of lipids in nutrient-limited cells. These findings suggest that M. thermautotrophicus intensely modulates its cell membrane lipid composition to cope with energy and nutrient availability in dynamic environments. PMID:25657645

  8. Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus modulates its membrane lipids in response to hydrogen and nutrient availability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Yukio Yoshinaga


    Full Text Available Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus strain ∆H is a model hydrogenotrophic methanogen, for which extensive biochemical information, including the complete genome sequence, is available. Nevertheless, at the cell membrane lipid level, little is known about the responses of this archaeon to environmental stimuli. In this study, the lipid composition of M. thermautotrophicus was characterized to verify how this archaeon modulates its cell membrane components during growth phases and in response to hydrogen depletion and nutrient limitation (potassium and phosphate. As opposed to the higher abundance of phospholipids in the stationary phase of control experiments, cell membranes under nutrient and energy stress were dominated by glycolipids that likely provided a more effective barrier against ion leakage. We also identified particular lipid regulatory mechanisms in M. thermautotrophicus, which included the accumulation of polyprenols under hydrogen-limited conditions and an increased content of sodiated adducts of lipids in nutrient-limited cells. These findings suggest that M. thermautotrophicus intensely modulates its cell membrane lipid composition to cope with energy and nutrient availability in dynamic environments.

  9. Structural determinants of protein partitioning into ordered membrane domains and lipid rafts. (United States)

    Lorent, Joseph Helmuth; Levental, Ilya


    Increasing evidence supports the existence of lateral nanoscopic lipid domains in plasma membranes, known as lipid rafts. These domains preferentially recruit membrane proteins and lipids to facilitate their interactions and thereby regulate transmembrane signaling and cellular homeostasis. The functionality of raft domains is intrinsically dependent on their selectivity for specific membrane components; however, while the physicochemical determinants of raft association for lipids are known, very few systematic studies have focused on the structural aspects that guide raft partitioning of proteins. In this review, we describe biophysical and thermodynamic aspects of raft-mimetic liquid ordered phases, focusing on those most relevant for protein partitioning. Further, we detail the variety of experimental models used to study protein-raft interactions. Finally, we review the existing literature on mechanisms for raft targeting, including lipid post-translational modifications, lipid binding, and transmembrane domain features. We conclude that while protein palmitoylation is a clear raft-targeting signal, few other general structural determinants for raft partitioning have been revealed, suggesting that many discoveries lie ahead in this burgeoning field.

  10. Influence of membrane surface charge on adsorption of complement proteins onto supported lipid bilayers. (United States)

    Yorulmaz, Saziye; Jackman, Joshua A; Hunziker, Walter; Cho, Nam-Joon


    The complement system is an important part of the innate immune response, and there is great interest in understanding how complement proteins interact with lipid membrane interfaces, especially in the context of recognizing foreign particulates (e.g., liposomal nanomedicines). Herein, a supported lipid bilayer platform was employed in order to investigate the effect of membrane surface charge (positive, negative, or neutral) on the adsorption of three complement proteins. Quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation (QCM-D) experiments measured the real-time kinetics and total uptake of protein adsorption onto supported lipid bilayers. The results demonstrate that all three proteins exhibit preferential, mainly irreversible adsorption onto negatively charged lipid bilayers, yet there was also significant variation in total uptake and the relative degree of adsorption onto negatively charged bilayers versus neutral and positively charged bilayers. The total uptake was also observed to strongly depend on the bulk protein concentration. Taken together, our findings contribute to a broader understanding of the factors which influence adsorption of complement proteins onto lipid membranes and offer guidance towards the design of synthetic lipid bilayers with immunocompetent features.

  11. Detection of apoptosis through the lipid order of the outer plasma membrane leaflet. (United States)

    Darwich, Zeinab; Klymchenko, Andrey S; Kucherak, Oleksandr A; Richert, Ludovic; Mély, Yves


    Cell plasma membranes of living cells maintain their asymmetry, so that the outer leaflet presents a large quantity of sphingomyelin, which is critical for formation of ordered lipid domains. Here, a recently developed probe based on Nile Red (NR12S) was applied to monitor changes in the lipid order specifically at the outer leaflet of cell membranes. Important key features of NR12S are its ratiometric response exclusively to lipid order (liquid ordered vs. liquid disordered phase) and not to surface charge, the possibility of using it at very low concentrations (10-20nM) and the very simple staining protocol. Cholesterol extraction, oxidation and sphingomyelin hydrolysis were found to red shift the emission spectrum of NR12S, indicating a decrease in the lipid order at the outer plasma membrane leaflet. Remarkably, apoptosis induced by three different agents (actinomycin D, camptothecin, staurosporine) produced very similar spectroscopic effects, suggesting that apoptosis also significantly decreases the lipid order at this leaflet. The applicability of NR12S to detect apoptosis was further validated by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, using the ratio between the blue and red parts of its emission band. Thus, for the first time, an environment-sensitive probe, sensitive to lipid order, is shown to detect apoptosis, suggesting a new concept in apoptosis sensing.

  12. Lipid rafts-mediated endocytosis and physiology-based cell membrane traffic models of doxorubicin liposomes. (United States)

    Li, Yinghuan; Gao, Lei; Tan, Xi; Li, Feiyang; Zhao, Ming; Peng, Shiqi


    The clathrin-mediated endocytosis is likely a major mechanism of liposomes' internalization. A kinetic approach was used to assess the internalization mechanism of doxorubicin (Dox) loaded cationic liposomes and to establish physiology-based cell membrane traffic mathematic models. Lipid rafts-mediated endocytosis, including dynamin-dependent or -independent endocytosis of noncaveolar structure, was a dominant process. The mathematic models divided Dox loaded liposomes binding lipid rafts (B) into saturable binding (SB) and nonsaturable binding (NSB) followed by energy-driven endocytosis. The intracellular trafficking demonstrated early endosome-late endosome-lysosome or early/late endosome-cytoplasm-nucleus pathways. The three properties of liposome structures, i.e., cationic lipid, fusogenic lipid, and pegylation, were investigated to compare their contributions to cell membrane and intracellular traffic. The results revealed great contribution of cationic lipid DOTAP and fusogenic lipid DOPE to cell membrane binding and internalization. The valid Dox in the nuclei of HepG2 and A375 cells treated with cationic liposomes containing 40mol% of DOPE were 1.2-fold and 1.5-fold higher than that in the nuclei of HepG2 and A375 cells treated with liposomes containing 20mol% of DOPE, respectively, suggesting the dependence of cell type. This tendency was proportional to the increase of cell-associated total liposomal Dox. The mathematic models would be useful to predict intracellular trafficking of liposomal Dox.

  13. Understanding Detergent Effects on Lipid Membranes: A Model Study of Lysolipids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Jonas Rosager; Andresen, Thomas Lars; Feldborg, Lise Nørkjær


    -phosphatidylcholine lipids (LPCs) on 1-palmitoy1-2-oleyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) lipid membranes by use of isothermal titration calorimetry and vesicle fluctuation analysis. The membrane partition coefficient (K) and critical micelle concentration (cmc) are determined by isothermal titration calorimetry...... in terms of a phenomenological model based on continuum elastic theory, which yields information about the curvature-inducing properties of the LPC molecule. The results reveal: 1), an increase in the partition coefficient with increasing LPC acyl-chain length; and 2), that the degree of acyl...


    Galimzyanov, Timur R.; Molotkovsky, Rodion J.; Bozdaganyan, Marine E.; Cohen, Fredric S.; Pohl, Peter; Akimov, Sergey A.


    The mechanism responsible for domain registration in two membrane leaflets has thus far remained enigmatic. Using continuum elasticity theory, we show that minimum line tension is achieved along the rim between thicker (ordered) and thinner (disordered) domains by shifting the rims in opposing leaflets by a few nanometers relative to each other. Increasing surface tension yields an increase in line tension, resulting in larger domains. Because domain registration is driven by lipid deformation energy, it does not require special lipid components nor interactions at the membrane midplane. PMID:26340212

  15. Giant Unilamellar Vesicle Electroformation: From Lipid Mixtures to Native Membranes Under Physiological Conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meleard, Philippe; Bagatolli, Luis; Pott, Tanja


    systems including synthetic lipid mixtures, natural lipid extracts, and bilayers containing membrane proteins. Further, we show how to adjust this protocol to a given aqueous environment and prove that GUVs can be obtained under physiologically relevant conditions, that is, in the presence of electrolytes....... Finally, we provide firm evidence that electroformation is a method of choice to produce giant vesicles from native cell membranes. This is illustrated with the example of GUV electroformation from red blood cell ghosts in a physiologically pertinent buffer. GUVs obtained in this manner maintain...

  16. Monte Carlo study of receptor-lipid raft formation on a cell membrane (United States)

    Yu-Yang, Paul; Srinivas Reddy, A.; Raychaudhuri, Subhadip


    Receptors are cell surface molecules that bind with extracellular ligand molecules leading to propagation of downstream signals and cellular activation. Even though ligand binding-induced formation of receptor-lipid rafts has been implicated in such a process, the formation mechanism of such large stable rafts is not understood. We present findings from our Monte Carlo (MC) simulations involving (i) receptor interaction with the membrane lipids and (ii) lipid-lipid interactions between raft forming lipids. We have developed a hybrid MC simulation method that combines a probabilistic MC simulation with an explicit free energy-based MC scheme. Some of the lipid-mediated interactions, such as the cholesterol-lipid interactions, are simulated in an implicit way. We examine the effect of varying attractive interactions between raft forming lipids and ligand-bound receptors and show that strong coupling between receptor-receptor and receptor-sphingolipid molecules generate raft formation similar to that observed in recent biological experiments. We study the effect of variation of receptor affinity for ligands (as happens in adaptive immune cells) on raft formation. Such affinity dependence in receptor-lipid raft formation provides insight into important problems in B cell biology.

  17. Cells cultured on microgrooves with or without surface coating: Correlation between cell alignment, spreading and local membrane deformation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Xiongtu [Ecole Normale Superieure, CNRS-ENS-UPMC UMR 8640, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris (France); College of physics and information engineering, Fuzhou University, 350002 Fuzhou (China); Shi, Jian; Hu, Jie [Ecole Normale Superieure, CNRS-ENS-UPMC UMR 8640, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris (France); Chen, Yong, E-mail: [Ecole Normale Superieure, CNRS-ENS-UPMC UMR 8640, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris (France); Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan)


    The behaviors of cells cultured on patterned substrates vary with the material stiffness, the geometry and the biochemical properties of the pattern. By using a reversed cell imprinting (RCI) technique, together with phase contrast microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), we have exploited reversed side cellular morphology on patterned microgrooves of different geometries with or without surface coating of adhesion molecules. We have shown a close correlation between the effect of contact guidance and penetration of cellular membrane. Without surface coating, roughly 80% of HeLa cells were aligned along the groove direction regardless of the groove spacing. When the microgrooves were coated with fibronectin, the area of cell spreading was increased but the percentage of aligned cells was significantly decreased. In both cases, the deformation of cell membrane at the cell-pattern interfaces could be measured. We found that the local penetration of the cellular membrane into the grooves was correlated to the cellular alignment for both HeLa and NIH 3T3 cells, and that such a correlation was cell-type dependent. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Quantitatively assessment of cell deformation was obtained using RCI technique. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cell alignment is correlated to the cell penetration into microgrooves. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cell spreading is also correlated to the cell penetration into microgrooves. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The cell penetration and the cell alignment are cell-type dependent.

  18. Acid sphingomyelinase activity is regulated by membrane lipids and facilitates cholesterol transfer by NPC2. (United States)

    Oninla, Vincent O; Breiden, Bernadette; Babalola, Jonathan O; Sandhoff, Konrad


    During endocytosis, membrane components move to intraluminal vesicles of the endolysosomal compartment for digestion. At the late endosomes, cholesterol is sorted out mainly by two sterol-binding proteins, Niemann-Pick protein type C (NPC)1 and NPC2. To study the NPC2-mediated intervesicular cholesterol transfer, we developed a liposomal assay system. (Abdul-Hammed, M., B. Breiden, M. A. Adebayo, J. O. Babalola, G. Schwarzmann, and K. Sandhoff. 2010. Role of endosomal membrane lipids and NPC2 in cholesterol transfer and membrane fusion. J. Lipid Res. 51: 1747-1760.) Anionic lipids stimulate cholesterol transfer between liposomes while SM inhibits it, even in the presence of anionic bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP). Preincubation of vesicles containing SM with acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) (SM phosphodiesterase, EC results in hydrolysis of SM to ceramide (Cer), which enhances cholesterol transfer. Besides SM, ASM also cleaves liposomal phosphatidylcholine. Anionic phospholipids derived from the plasma membrane (phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidic acid) stimulate SM and phosphatidylcholine hydrolysis by ASM more effectively than BMP, which is generated during endocytosis. ASM-mediated hydrolysis of liposomal SM was also stimulated by incorporation of diacylglycerol (DAG), Cer, and free fatty acids into the liposomal membranes. Conversely, phosphatidylcholine hydrolysis was inhibited by incorporation of cholesterol, Cer, DAG, monoacylglycerol, and fatty acids. Our data suggest that SM degradation by ASM is required for physiological secretion of cholesterol from the late endosomal compartment, and is a key regulator of endolysosomal lipid digestion.

  19. Lipid raft-dependent plasma membrane repair interferes with the activation of B lymphocytes. (United States)

    Miller, Heather; Castro-Gomes, Thiago; Corrotte, Matthias; Tam, Christina; Maugel, Timothy K; Andrews, Norma W; Song, Wenxia


    Cells rapidly repair plasma membrane (PM) damage by a process requiring Ca(2+)-dependent lysosome exocytosis. Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) released from lysosomes induces endocytosis of injured membrane through caveolae, membrane invaginations from lipid rafts. How B lymphocytes, lacking any known form of caveolin, repair membrane injury is unknown. Here we show that B lymphocytes repair PM wounds in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Wounding induces lysosome exocytosis and endocytosis of dextran and the raft-binding cholera toxin subunit B (CTB). Resealing is reduced by ASM inhibitors and ASM deficiency and enhanced or restored by extracellular exposure to sphingomyelinase. B cell activation via B cell receptors (BCRs), a process requiring lipid rafts, interferes with PM repair. Conversely, wounding inhibits BCR signaling and internalization by disrupting BCR-lipid raft coclustering and by inducing the endocytosis of raft-bound CTB separately from BCR into tubular invaginations. Thus, PM repair and B cell activation interfere with one another because of competition for lipid rafts, revealing how frequent membrane injury and repair can impair B lymphocyte-mediated immune responses.

  20. Phytosphingosine, sphingosine and dihydrosphingosine ceramides in model skin lipid membranes: permeability and biophysics. (United States)

    Školová, Barbora; Kováčik, Andrej; Tesař, Ondřej; Opálka, Lukáš; Vávrová, Kateřina


    Ceramides based on phytosphingosine, sphingosine and dihydrosphingosine are essential constituents of the skin lipid barrier that protects the body from excessive water loss. The roles of the individual ceramide subclasses in regulating skin permeability and the reasons for C4-hydroxylation of these sphingolipids are not completely understood. We investigated the chain length-dependent effects of dihydroceramides, sphingosine ceramides (with C4-unsaturation) and phytoceramides (with C4-hydroxyl) on the permeability, lipid organization and thermotropic behavior of model stratum corneum lipid membranes composed of ceramide/lignoceric acid/cholesterol/cholesteryl sulfate. Phytoceramides with very long C24 acyl chains increased the permeability of the model lipid membranes compared to dihydroceramides or sphingosine ceramides with the same chain lengths. Either unsaturation or C4-hydroxylation of dihydroceramides induced chain length-dependent increases in membrane permeability. Infrared spectroscopy showed that C4-hydroxylation of the sphingoid base decreased the relative ratio of orthorhombic chain packing in the membrane and lowered the miscibility of C24 phytoceramide with lignoceric acid. The phase separation in phytoceramide membranes was confirmed by X-ray diffraction. In contrast, phytoceramides formed strong hydrogen bonds and highly thermostable domains. Thus, the large heterogeneity in ceramide structures and in their aggregation mechanisms may confer resistance towards the heterogeneous external stressors that are constantly faced by the skin barrier.

  1. Bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) based ion selective electrodes at the meso-, micro-, and nano-scales. (United States)

    Liu, Bingwen; Rieck, Daniel; Van Wie, Bernard J; Cheng, Gary J; Moffett, David F; Kidwell, David A


    This paper presents a novel method for making micron-sized apertures with tapered sidewalls and nano-sized apertures. Their use in bilayer lipid membrane-based ion selective electrode design is demonstrated and compared to mesoscale bilayers and traditional PVC ion selective electrodes. Micron-sized apertures are fabricated in SU-8 photoresist films and vary in diameter from 10 to 40 microm. The tapered edges in SU-8 films are desired to enhance bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) formation and are fabricated by UV-light overexposure. Nano-apertures are made in boron diffused silicon film. The membranes are used as septa to separate two potassium chloride solutions of different concentrations. Lecithin BLMs are assembled on the apertures by ejecting lipid solution. Potassium ionophore, dibenzo-18-crown-6, is incorporated into BLMs by dissolving it in the lipid solution before membrane assembly. Voltage changes with increasing potassium ion concentrations are recorded with an A/D converter. Various ionophore concentrations in BLMs are investigated. At least a 1% concentration is needed for consistent slopes. Electrode response curves are linear over the 10(-6) to 0.1M range with a sub-Nernstian slope of 20mV per Log concentration change. This system shows high selectivity to potassium ions over potential interfering sodium ions. BLMs on the three different aperture sizes at the meso-, micro-, and nano-scales all show similar linear ranges and limits of detection (LODs) as PVC ion selective membranes.

  2. Exclusive photorelease of signalling lipids at the plasma membrane. (United States)

    Nadler, André; Yushchenko, Dmytro A; Müller, Rainer; Stein, Frank; Feng, Suihan; Mulle, Christophe; Carta, Mario; Schultz, Carsten


    Photoactivation of caged biomolecules has become a powerful approach to study cellular signalling events. Here we report a method for anchoring and uncaging biomolecules exclusively at the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane by employing a photocleavable, sulfonated coumarin derivative. The novel caging group allows quantifying the reaction progress and efficiency of uncaging reactions in a live-cell microscopy setup, thereby greatly improving the control of uncaging experiments. We synthesized arachidonic acid derivatives bearing the new negatively charged or a neutral, membrane-permeant coumarin caging group to locally induce signalling either at the plasma membrane or on internal membranes in β-cells and brain slices derived from C57B1/6 mice. Uncaging at the plasma membrane triggers a strong enhancement of calcium oscillations in β-cells and a pronounced potentiation of synaptic transmission while uncaging inside cells blocks calcium oscillations in β-cells and causes a more transient effect on neuronal transmission, respectively. The precise subcellular site of arachidonic acid release is therefore crucial for signalling outcome in two independent systems.

  3. Quantitative optical microscopy and micromanipulation studies on the lipid bilayer membranes of giant unilamellar vesicles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagatolli, Luis; Needham, David


    some of their most important contributions to our understanding of lipid bilayer membranes; and (iii) outline studies that would utilize both techniques simultaneously on the same vesicle thus bringing the ability to characterize structure and strain responses together with the direct application......This manuscript discusses basic methodological aspects of optical microscopy and micromanipulation methods to study membranes and reviews methods to generate giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). In particular, we focus on the use of fluorescence microscopy and micropipette manipulation techniques...... to study composition-structure-property materials relationships of free-standing lipid bilayer membranes. Because their size (~5 to 100 m diameter) that is well above the resolution limit of regular light microscopes, GUVs are suitable membrane models for optical microscopy and micromanipulation...

  4. The structural role of cholesterol in cell membranes: from condensed bilayers to lipid rafts. (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L


    CONSPECTUS: Defining the two-dimensional structure of cell membranes represents one of the most daunting challenges currently facing chemists, biochemists, and biophysicists. In particular, the time-averaged lateral organization of the lipids and proteins that make up these natural enclosures has yet to be established. As the classic Singer-Nicolson model of cell membranes has evolved over the past 40 years, special attention has focused on the structural role played by cholesterol, a key component that represents ca. 30% of the total lipids that are present. Despite extensive studies with model membranes, two fundamental issues have remained a mystery: (i) the mechanism by which cholesterol condenses low-melting lipids by uncoiling their acyl chains and (ii) the thermodynamics of the interaction between cholesterol and high- and low-melting lipids. The latter bears directly on one of the most popular notions in modern cell biology, that is, the lipid raft hypothesis, whereby cholesterol is thought to combine with high-melting lipids to form "lipid rafts" that float in a "sea" of low-melting lipids. In this Account, we first describe a chemical approach that we have developed in our laboratories that has allowed us to quantify the interactions between exchangeable mimics of cholesterol and low- and high-melting lipids in model membranes. In essence, this "nearest-neighbor recognition" (NNR) method involves the synthesis of dimeric forms of these lipids that contain a disulfide moiety as a linker. By means of thiolate-disulfide interchange reactions, equilibrium mixtures of dimers are then formed. These exchange reactions are initiated either by adding dithiothreitol to a liposomal dispersion to generate a small amount of thiol monomer or by including a small amount of thiol monomer in the liposomes at pH 5.0 and then raising the pH to 7.4. We then show how such NNR measurements have allowed us to distinguish between two very different mechanisms that have been

  5. Coarse Grained Simulation of Lipid Membrane and Triblock Copolymers (United States)

    Hatakeyama, Masaomi; Faller, Roland


    We investigated the interaction between DPPC (Dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine) bilayer and polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide (PEO-PPO-PEO) triblock copolymers using coarse grained simulation. We simulated two systems of DPPC bilayer and PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymer containing different mole fractions, and simulated DPPC vesicle with the copolymers. We found different adsorption mechanisms of triblock copolymers depending on concentration. And we also observed docking process between a lipid vesicle and a micelle of the copolymers.

  6. The Role of Lipid Membranes in Life’s Origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Deamer


    Full Text Available At some point in early evolution, life became cellular. Assuming that this step was required for the origin of life, there would necessarily be a pre-existing source of amphihilic compounds capable of assembling into membranous compartments. It is possible to make informed guesses about the properties of such compounds and the conditions most conducive to their self-assembly into boundary structures. The membranes were likely to incorporate mixtures of hydrocarbon derivatives between 10 and 20 carbons in length with carboxylate or hydroxyl head groups. Such compounds can be synthesized by chemical reactions and small amounts were almost certainly present in the prebiotic environment. Membrane assembly occurs most readily in low ionic strength solutions with minimal content of salt and divalent cations, which suggests that cellular life began in fresh water pools associated with volcanic islands rather than submarine hydrothermal vents.

  7. Monolayer spontaneous curvature of raft-forming membrane lipids (United States)

    Kollmitzer, Benjamin; Heftberger, Peter; Rappolt, Michael; Pabst, Georg

    Monolayer spontaneous curvatures for cholesterol, DOPE, POPE, DOPC, DPPC, DSPC, POPC, SOPC, and egg sphingomyelin were obtained using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) on inverted hexagonal phases (HII). Spontaneous curvatures of bilayer forming lipids were estimated by adding controlled amounts to a HII forming template following previously established protocols. Spontanous curvatures of both phosphatidylethanolamines and cholesterol were found to be at least a factor of two more negative than those of phosphatidylcholines, whose J0 are closer to zero. Interestingly, a significant positive J0 value (+0.1 1/nm) was retrieved for DPPC at 25 {\\deg}C. We further determined the temperature dependence of the spontaneous curvatures J0(T) in the range from 15 to 55 \\degC, resulting in a quite narrow distribution of -1 to -3 * 10^-3 1/nm{\\deg}C for most investigated lipids. The data allowed us to estimate the monolayer spontaneous curvatures of ternary lipid mixtures showing liquid ordered / liquid disordered phase coexistence. We report spontaneous curvature phase diagrams for DSPC/DOPC/Chol, DPPC/DOPC/Chol and SM/POPC/Chol and discuss effects on protein insertion and line tension.

  8. Size-dependent, stochastic nature of lipid exchange between nano-vesicles and model membranes (United States)

    Tabaei, Seyed R.; Gillissen, Jurriaan J. J.; Vafaei, Setareh; Groves, Jay T.; Cho, Nam-Joon


    The interaction of nanoscale lipid vesicles with cell membranes is of fundamental importance for the design and development of vesicular drug delivery systems. Here, we introduce a novel approach to study vesicle-membrane interactions whereby we are able to probe the influence of nanoscale membrane properties on the dynamic adsorption, exchange, and detachment of vesicles. Using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, we monitor these processes in real-time upon the electrostatically tuned attachment of individual, sub-100 nm vesicles to a supported lipid bilayer. The observed exponential vesicle detachment rate depends strongly on the vesicle size, but not on the vesicle charge, which suggests that lipid exchange occurs during a single stochastic event, which is consistent with membrane stalk formation. The fluorescence microscopy assay developed in this work may enable measuring of the probability of stalk formation in a controlled manner, which is of fundamental importance in membrane biology, offering a new tool to understand nanoscale phenomena in the context of biological sciences.The interaction of nanoscale lipid vesicles with cell membranes is of fundamental importance for the design and development of vesicular drug delivery systems. Here, we introduce a novel approach to study vesicle-membrane interactions whereby we are able to probe the influence of nanoscale membrane properties on the dynamic adsorption, exchange, and detachment of vesicles. Using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, we monitor these processes in real-time upon the electrostatically tuned attachment of individual, sub-100 nm vesicles to a supported lipid bilayer. The observed exponential vesicle detachment rate depends strongly on the vesicle size, but not on the vesicle charge, which suggests that lipid exchange occurs during a single stochastic event, which is consistent with membrane stalk formation. The fluorescence microscopy assay developed

  9. Mapping lipid and detergent molecules at the surface of membrane proteins. (United States)

    Cogdell, Richard J; Gardiner, Alastair T; Roszak, Aleksander W; Stončius, Sigitas; Kočovský, Pavel; Isaacs, Neil W


    Electron-density maps for the crystal structures of membrane proteins often show features suggesting binding of lipids and/or detergent molecules on the hydrophobic surface, but usually it is difficult to identify the bound molecules. In our studies, heavy-atom-labelled phospholipids and detergents have been used to unequivocally identify these binding sites at the surfaces of test membrane proteins, the reaction centres from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Blastochloris viridis. The generality of this method is discussed in the present article.

  10. Membrane Lipid Peroxidation in Copper Alloy-Mediated Contact Killing of Escherichia coli


    Hong,Robert; Kang, Tae Y.; Michels, Corinne A.; Gadura, Nidhi


    Copper alloy surfaces are passive antimicrobial sanitizing agents that kill bacteria, fungi, and some viruses. Studies of the mechanism of contact killing in Escherichia coli implicate the membrane as the target, yet the specific component and underlying biochemistry remain unknown. This study explores the hypothesis that nonenzymatic peroxidation of membrane phospholipids is responsible for copper alloy-mediated surface killing. Lipid peroxidation was monitored with the thiobarbituric acid-r...

  11. Effect of the dipole potential of a bilayer lipid membrane on gramicidin channel dissociation kinetics.


    Rokitskaya, T I; Antonenko, Y N; Kotova, E A


    A technique of measuring of the light-induced transients of the gramicidin-mediated electric current across a membrane in the presence of a photosensitizer has been applied for the study of the effect of agents modifying the dipole potential of a bilayer lipid membrane (phloretin, 6-ketocholestanol, and RH421) on the processes of the gramicidin channel dissociation and formation. It is shown that phloretin, known to lower the dipole potential, decelerates the flash-induced decrease in the cur...

  12. The properties of the outer membrane localized Lipid A transporter LptD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haarmann, Raimund; Ibrahim, Mohamed; Stevanovic, Mara; Bredemeier, Rolf; Schleiff, Enrico, E-mail: schleiff@bio.uni-frankfurt.d [JWGU Frankfurt/Main, Cluster of Excellence Macromolecular Complexes, Center of Membrane Proteomics, Department of Biosciences, Molecular Cell Biology, Max-von-Laue Strasse 9, D-60439 Frankfurt (Germany)


    Gram-negative bacteria are surrounded by a cell wall including the outer membrane. The outer membrane is composed of two distinct monolayers where the outer layer contains lipopolysaccharides (LPS) with the non-phospholipid Lipid A as the core. The synthesis of Lipid A is initiated in the cytosol and thereby the molecule has to be transported across the inner and outer membranes. The {beta}-barrel lipopolysaccharide-assembly protein D (LptD) was discovered to be involved in the transfer of Lipid A into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. At present the molecular procedure of lipid transfer across the outer membrane remains unknown. Here we approached the functionality of the transfer system by an electrophysiological analysis of the outer membrane protein from Escherichia coli named ecLptD. In vitro the protein shows cation selectivity and has an estimated pore diameter of about 1.8 nm. Addition of Lipid A induces a transition of the open state to a sub-conductance state with two independent off-rates, which might suggest that LptD is able to bind and transport the molecule in vitro. To generalize our findings with respect to the Lipid A transport system of other Gram-negative bacteria we have explored the existence of the proteins involved in this pathway by bioinformatic means. We were able to identify the membrane-inserted components of the Lipid A transport system in all Gram-negative bacteria, whereas the periplasmic components appear to be species-specific. The LptD proteins of different bacteria are characterized by their periplasmic N-terminal domain and a C-terminal barrel region. The latter shows distinct sequence properties, particularly in LptD proteins of cyanobacteria, and this specific domain can be found in plant proteins as well. By electrophysiological experiments on LptD from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 we are able to confirm the functional relation of anaLptD to Lipid A transport.

  13. Interaction of HIV-1 fusion peptide and its mutant with lipid membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    HIVWT and HIVV2E represent the 23 amino acids fusion peptide of HIV-1 gp41 N terminus and its position 2 mutant (Val→Glu). We have studied the structure-function relationship of HIVWT and HIVV2E when they interact with acidic and neutral lipid membranes. The results show that HIVWT and HIVV2E have the same conformational characteristics and tendencies of conformational transition but definitely different functions: HIVWT destabilizes membrane and induces fusion by adopting predominant a-helix conformation when interacting with acidic POPG membrane, its phenylalanine residues can penetrate into the hydrophobic core of POPG bilayer; HIVV2E also adopts predominant a-helix when interacting with POPG membrane, but it cannot destabilize POPG membrane and induce fusion, the phenylalanine residues of it are located near the surface of POPG bilayer. HIVWT and HIVV2E both adopt predominant a-sheet conformation to interact with neutral POPC membrane, and cannot destabilize POPC membrane and induce fusion, the position of phenylalanine residues of both HIVWT and HIVV2E are close to the surface of POPC bilayer. These results demonstrate that the N terminal hydrophobicity of fusion peptide and the secondary structure when interacting with lipid membrane play important roles for fusion peptide exerting its function.

  14. Interplay of electrostatics and lipid packing determines the binding of charged polymer coated nanoparticles to model membranes. (United States)

    Biswas, Nupur; Bhattacharya, Rupak; Saha, Arindam; Jana, Nikhil R; Basu, Jaydeep K


    Understanding of nanoparticle-membrane interactions is useful for various applications of nanoparticles like drug delivery and imaging. Here we report on the studies of interaction between hydrophilic charged polymer coated semiconductor quantum dot nanoparticles with model lipid membranes. Atomic force microscopy and X-ray reflectivity measurements suggest that cationic nanoparticles bind and penetrate bilayers of zwitterionic lipids. Penetration and binding depend on the extent of lipid packing and result in the disruption of the lipid bilayer accompanied by enhanced lipid diffusion. On the other hand, anionic nanoparticles show minimal membrane binding although, curiously, their interaction leads to reduction in lipid diffusivity. It is suggested that the enhanced binding of cationic QDs at higher lipid packing can be understood in terms of the effective surface potential of the bilayers which is tunable through membrane lipid packing. Our results bring forth the subtle interplay of membrane lipid packing and electrostatics which determine nanoparticle binding and penetration of model membranes with further implications for real cell membranes.

  15. Probing Lipid Membrane Rafts (Microdomains) with Fluorescent Phospholipids (United States)

    Gu, Yongwen; Mitchel, Drake


    Membrane rafts are enriched in sphingolipids and cholesterol, they exist in a more ordered state (the liquid-ordered phase; lo) than the bulk membrane (the liquid-disordered phase; ld). Ternary mixtures of palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphocholine (POPC; 16:0,18:1 PC), sphingomyelin (SPM), and cholesterol (Chol) form membrane rafts over a wide range of molar ratios. We are examining the ability of two fluorescent probes, NBD linked to di-16:0 PE which partitions into the lo phase, and NBD linked to di-18:1 PE which partitions into the ld phase, to detect these two phases. We are also examining the effect of the highly polyunsaturated phospholipid stearoyl-docosahexanoyl-phosphocholine (SDPC; 18:0, 22:6 PC) on the size and stability of POPC/SPM/Chol membrane rafts. We report on the fluorescence lifetime and anisotropy decay dynamics of two fluorescent probes. Data were acquired via frequency-domain measurements from 5 to 250 MHz.

  16. Photoelectric Effects in Lipid Bilayer Membranes. A Pedagogical Review. (United States)

    Huebner, Jay S.; And Others


    Provides information appropriate for introductory lectures on photoelectric effects in membranes. Describes the apparatus and supplies required for laboratory exercises. Outlines typical laboratory exercises. Identifies the chromophores known to induce photoelectric effects. Concludes that this topic can provide useful subjects for undergraduate…

  17. GRIFFIN: A versatile methodology for optimization of protein-lipid interfaces for membrane protein simulations. (United States)

    Staritzbichler, René; Anselmi, Claudio; Forrest, Lucy R; Faraldo-Gómez, José D


    As new atomic structures of membrane proteins are resolved, they reveal increasingly complex transmembrane topologies, and highly irregular surfaces with crevices and pores. In many cases, specific interactions formed with the lipid membrane are functionally crucial, as is the overall lipid composition. Compounded with increasing protein size, these characteristics pose a challenge for the construction of simulation models of membrane proteins in lipid environments; clearly, that these models are sufficiently realistic bears upon the reliability of simulation-based studies of these systems. Here, we introduce GRIFFIN, which uses a versatile framework to automate and improve a widely-used membrane-embedding protocol. Initially, GRIFFIN carves out lipid and water molecules from a volume equivalent to that of the protein, so as to conserve the system density. In the subsequent optimization phase GRIFFIN adds an implicit grid-based protein force-field to a molecular dynamics simulation of the pre-carved membrane. In this force-field, atoms inside the implicit protein volume experience an outward force that will expel them from that volume, whereas those outside are subject to electrostatic and van-der-Waals interactions with the implicit protein. At each step of the simulation, these forces are updated by GRIFFIN and combined with the intermolecular forces of the explicit lipid-water system. This procedure enables the construction of realistic and reproducible starting configurations of the protein-membrane interface within a reasonable timeframe and with minimal intervention. GRIFFIN is a standalone tool designed to work alongside any existing molecular dynamics package, such as NAMD or GROMACS.

  18. Membrane fluidity and the surface properties of the lipid bilayer: ESR experiment and computer simulation. (United States)

    Man, Dariusz; Olchawa, Ryszard; Kubica, Krystian


    Penetration of the liposome membranes formed in the gel phase from DPPC (DPPC liposomes) and in the liquid-crystalline phase from egg yolk lecithin (EYL liposomes) by the TEMPO (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl) and 16 DOXYL (2-ethyl-2-(15-methoxy-oxopentadecyl)-4,4-dimethyl-3-oxazolidinyloxy) spin probes has been investigated. The penetration process was followed by 120 hours at 24(0)C, using the electron spin resonance (ESR) method. The investigation of the kinetics of the TEMPO probe building into the membranes of both types of liposomes revealed differences appearing 30 minutes after the start of the experiment. The number of TEMPO particles built into the EYL liposome membranes began to clearly rise, aiming asymptotically to a constant value after about 100 minutes, whereas the number of the TEMPO particles built into the DPPC liposome membranes was almost constant in time. The interpretation of the obtained experimental results was enriched with those of computer simulation, following the behavior of the polar heads (dipoles) of the lipid particles forming a lipid layer due to the change in the value of the model parameter, k, determining the mobility of the dipoles. The possibility of the formation of an irregular ordering of the polar part of lipid membranes was proved, which leads to the appearance of spaces filled with of water for k > 0.4. The appearance of these defects enables the penetration of the bilayer by the TEMPO particles. The limited mobility of lipid polar heads (k < 0.2) prevents the appearance of such areas facilitating the penetration of the lipid membrane by alien particles in the gel phase.

  19. The effect of photodynamic action on leakage of ions through liposomal membranes that contain oxidatively modified lipids. (United States)

    Ytzhak, Shany; Ehrenberg, Benjamin


    Singlet oxygen, created in photosensitization, peroxidizes unsaturated fatty acids of the membrane's lipids. This generates alcoholic or aldehyde groups at double bonds' breakage points. In a previous study, we examined the leakage of a K(+) -induced cross-membrane electric potential of liposomes that undergo photosensitization. The question remains to what extent peroxidized lipids can compromise the stability of the membrane. In this study, we studied the effect of the oxidatively modified lipids PGPC and ALDOPC in the membrane on its stability, by monitoring the membrane electric potential with the potentiometric dye DiSC(2)(5). As the content of the modified lipids increases the membrane becomes less stable, and even at just 2% of the modified lipids the membrane's integrity is affected, in respect to the leakage of ions through it. When the liposomes that contain the modified lipids undergo photosensitization by hematoporphyrin, the lipid bilayer becomes even more unstable and passage of ions is accelerated. We conclude that the existence of lipids with a shortened fatty acid that is terminated by a carboxylic acid or an aldehyde and more so when photosensitized damage occurs to unsaturated fatty acids in lecithin, add up to a critical alteration of the membrane, which becomes leaky to ions.

  20. Sphingomyelin distribution in lipid rafts of artificial monolayer membranes visualized by Raman microscopy. (United States)

    Ando, Jun; Kinoshita, Masanao; Cui, Jin; Yamakoshi, Hiroyuki; Dodo, Kosuke; Fujita, Katsumasa; Murata, Michio; Sodeoka, Mikiko


    Sphingomyelin (SM) and cholesterol (chol)-rich domains in cell membranes, called lipid rafts, are thought to have important biological functions related to membrane signaling and protein trafficking. To visualize the distribution of SM in lipid rafts by means of Raman microscopy, we designed and synthesized an SM analog tagged with a Raman-active diyne moiety (diyne-SM). Diyne-SM showed a strong peak in a Raman silent region that is free of interference from intrinsic vibrational modes of lipids and did not appear to alter the properties of SM-containing monolayers. Therefore, we used Raman microscopy to directly visualize the distribution of diyne-SM in raft-mimicking domains formed in SM/dioleoylphosphatidylcholine/chol ternary monolayers. Raman images visualized a heterogeneous distribution of diyne-SM, which showed marked variation, even within a single ordered domain. Specifically, diyne-SM was enriched in the central area of raft domains compared with the peripheral area. These results seem incompatible with the generally accepted raft model, in which the raft and nonraft phases show a clear biphasic separation. One of the possible reasons is that gradual changes of SM concentration occur between SM-rich and -poor regions to minimize hydrophobic mismatch. We believe that our technique of hyperspectral Raman imaging of a single lipid monolayer opens the door to quantitative analysis of lipid membranes by providing both chemical information and spatial distribution with high (diffraction-limited) spatial resolution.

  1. Drug binding and mobility relating to the thermal fluctuation in fluid lipid membranes (United States)

    Okamura, Emiko; Yoshii, Noriyuki


    Drug binding and mobility in fluid lipid bilayer membranes are quantified in situ by using the multinuclear solution NMR combined with the pulsed-field-gradient technique. One-dimensional and pulsed-field-gradient F19 and H1 NMR signals of an anticancer drug, 5-fluorouracil (5FU) are analyzed at 283-313 K in the presence of large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) of egg phosphatidylcholine (EPC) as model cell membranes. The simultaneous observation of the membrane-bound and free 5FU signals enables to quantify in what amount of 5FU is bound to the membrane and how fast 5FU is moving within the membrane in relation to the thermal fluctuation of the soft, fluid environment. It is shown that the mobility of membrane-bound 5FU is slowed down by almost two orders of magnitude and similar to the lipid movement in the membrane, the movement closely related to the intramembrane fluidity. The mobility of 5FU and EPC is, however, not similar at 313 K; the 5FU movement is enhanced in the membrane as a result of the loose binding of 5FU in the lipid matrices. The membrane-bound fraction of 5FU is ˜0.1 and almost unaltered over the temperature range examined. It is also independent of the 5FU concentration from 2 to 30 mM with respect to the 40-50 mM LUV. The free energy of the 5FU binding is estimated at -4 to -2 kJ/mol, the magnitude always close to the thermal fluctuation, 2.4-2.6 kJ/mol.

  2. Regional differences in the lateral mobility of plasma membrane lipids in a molluscan embryo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Speksnijder, J.E.; Dohmen, M.R.; Tertoolen, L.G.J.; Laat, S.W. de


    Regional and temporal differences in plasma membrane lipid mobility have been analyzed during the first three cleavage cycles of the embryo of the polar-lobe-forming mollusc Nassarius reticulatus by the fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR) method, using 1,1′-ditetradecyl 3,3,3′,3′-tetramethyli

  3. Crenarchaeotal membrane lipids in lake sediments : a new paleotemperature proxy for continental paleoclimate reconstruction?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Powes, L.A.; Werne, J.P.; Johnson, T.C.; Hopmans, E.C.; Schouten, S.


    Paleoclimate studies of continental environments have been hampered by the lack of an independent paleotemperature proxy. A novel sea-surface temperature proxy has been proposed for marine systems based on membrane lipids of marine crenarchaeota. This proxy will provide an independent continental pa

  4. Lipid membrane: inelastic deformation of surface structure by an atomic force microscope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张静; 孙润广


    The stability of the 1,2-Dioleoyl-sn-Glycero-3-[phospho-rac-1-Glycerol-Na] liposome in the liquid crystalline statehave been investigated using an atomic force microscope (AFM). We have observed the inelastic deformation of thesample surface. The AFM tip causes persistent deformation of the surface of the lipid membrane, in which some of thelipid molecules are eventually pushed or dragged by the AFM tip. The experiment shows how the surface structure ofthe lipid membrane can be created by the interaction between the AFM tip and lipid membrane. When the operatingforce exceeds 10-8 N, it leads to large deformations of the surface. A square region of about 1×1μm2 is created by thescanning probe on the surface. When the operating force is between 10-11N and 10-8N, it can image the topographyof the surface of the lipid membrane. The stability of the sample is related to the concentration of the medium in whichthe sample is prepared.

  5. Hydrophobic membrane thickness and lipid-protein interactions of the leucine transport system of Lactococcus lactis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    in t Veld, Gerda; Driessen, Arnold J.M.; Kamp, Jos A.F. op den; Konings, Wil N.


    The effect of the phospholipid acyl chain carbon number on the activity of the branched-chain amino acid transport system of Lactococcus lactis has been investigated. Major fatty acids identified in a total lipid extract of L. lactis membranes are palmitic acid (16:0), oleic acid (18:1) and the cycl

  6. Rapid mobilization of membrane lipids in wheat leaf-sheathes during incompatible interactions with hessian fly (United States)

    Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor) is a biotrophic parasitic insect that interacts with wheat on a typical gene-for-gene basis. In this study, we systematically profiled changes in membrane lipids in two isogenic wheat lines: a susceptible line and its backcrossed offspring containing resistance ge...

  7. Lipid bilayer-bound conformation of an integral membrane beta barrel protein by multidimensional MAS NMR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eddy, Matthew T. [The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology (United States); Su, Yongchao; Silvers, Robert; Andreas, Loren; Clark, Lindsay [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry (United States); Wagner, Gerhard [Harvard Medical School, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (United States); Pintacuda, Guido; Emsley, Lyndon [Université de Lyon, Centre de RMN à Très Hauts Champs, Institut des Sciences Analytiques (CNRS, ENS Lyon, UCB Lyon 1) (France); Griffin, Robert G., E-mail: [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry (United States)


    The human voltage dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC) is a 32 kDa β-barrel integral membrane protein that controls the transport of ions across the outer mitochondrial membrane. Despite the determination of VDAC solution and diffraction structures, a structural basis for the mechanism of its function is not yet fully understood. Biophysical studies suggest VDAC requires a lipid bilayer to achieve full function, motivating the need for atomic resolution structural information of VDAC in a membrane environment. Here we report an essential step toward that goal: extensive assignments of backbone and side chain resonances for VDAC in DMPC lipid bilayers via magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR). VDAC reconstituted into DMPC lipid bilayers spontaneously forms two-dimensional lipid crystals, showing remarkable spectral resolution (0.5–0.3 ppm for {sup 13}C line widths and <0.5 ppm {sup 15}N line widths at 750 MHz). In addition to the benefits of working in a lipid bilayer, several distinct advantages are observed with the lipid crystalline preparation. First, the strong signals and sharp line widths facilitated extensive NMR resonance assignments for an integral membrane β-barrel protein in lipid bilayers by MAS NMR. Second, a large number of residues in loop regions were readily observed and assigned, which can be challenging in detergent-solubilized membrane proteins where loop regions are often not detected due to line broadening from conformational exchange. Third, complete backbone and side chain chemical shift assignments could be obtained for the first 25 residues, which comprise the functionally important N-terminus. The reported assignments allow us to compare predicted torsion angles for VDAC prepared in DMPC 2D lipid crystals, DMPC liposomes, and LDAO-solubilized samples to address the possible effects of the membrane mimetic environment on the conformation of the protein. Concluding, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the

  8. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Stroh, Cordula [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Zhu Rong [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Angsuthanasombat, Chanan [Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Hinterdorfer, Peter [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria)]. E-mail:


    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry {delta}-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin.

  9. Comparing ion conductance recordings of synthetic lipid bilayers with cell membranes containing TRP channels

    CERN Document Server

    Laub, Katrine R; Blicher, Andreas; Madsen, Soren B; Luckhoff, Andreas; Heimburg, Thomas


    In this article we compare electrical conductance events from single channel recordings of three TRP channel proteins (TRPA1, TRPM2 and TRPM8) expressed in human embryonic kidney cells with channel events recorded on synthetic lipid membranes close to melting transitions. Ion channels from the TRP family are involved in a variety of sensory processes including thermo- and mechano-reception. Synthetic lipid membranes close to phase transitions display channel-like events that respond to stimuli related to changes in intensive thermodynamic variables such as pressure and temperature. TRP channel activity is characterized by typical patterns of current events dependent on the type of protein expressed. Synthetic lipid bilayers show a wide spectrum of electrical phenomena that are considered typical for the activity of protein ion channels. We find unitary currents, burst behavior, flickering, multistep-conductances, and spikes behavior in both preparations. Moreover, we report conductances and lifetimes for lipi...

  10. Continuity of Monolayer-Bilayer Junctions for Localization of Lipid Raft Microdomains in Model Membranes. (United States)

    Ryu, Yong-Sang; Wittenberg, Nathan J; Suh, Jeng-Hun; Lee, Sang-Wook; Sohn, Youngjoo; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Parikh, Atul N; Lee, Sin-Doo


    We show that the selective localization of cholesterol-rich domains and associated ganglioside receptors prefer to occur in the monolayer across continuous monolayer-bilayer junctions (MBJs) in supported lipid membranes. For the MBJs, glass substrates were patterned with poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) oligomers by thermally-assisted contact printing, leaving behind 3 nm-thick PDMS patterns. The hydrophobicity of the transferred PDMS patterns was precisely tuned by the stamping temperature. Lipid monolayers were formed on the PDMS patterned surface while lipid bilayers were on the bare glass surface. Due to the continuity of the lipid membranes over the MBJs, essentially free diffusion of lipids was allowed between the monolayer on the PDMS surface and the upper leaflet of the bilayer on the glass substrate. The preferential localization of sphingomyelin, ganglioside GM1 and cholesterol in the monolayer region enabled to develop raft microdomains through coarsening of nanorafts. Our methodology provides a simple and effective scheme of non-disruptive manipulation of the chemical landscape associated with lipid phase separations, which leads to more sophisticated applications in biosensors and as cell culture substrates.

  11. Fluorescence of nitrobenzoxadiazole (NBD)-labeled lipids in model membranes is connected not to lipid mobility but to probe location. (United States)

    Amaro, Mariana; Filipe, Hugo A L; Prates Ramalho, J P; Hof, Martin; Loura, Luís M S


    Nitrobenzoxadiazole (NBD)-labeled lipids are popular fluorescent membrane probes. However, the understanding of important aspects of the photophysics of NBD remains incomplete, including the observed shift in the emission spectrum of NBD-lipids to longer wavelengths following excitation at the red edge of the absorption spectrum (red-edge excitation shift or REES). REES of NBD-lipids in membrane environments has been previously interpreted as reflecting restricted mobility of solvent surrounding the fluorophore. However, this requires a large change in the dipole moment (Δμ) of NBD upon excitation. Previous calculations of the value of Δμ of NBD in the literature have been carried out using outdated semi-empirical methods, leading to conflicting values. Using up-to-date density functional theory methods, we recalculated the value of Δμ and verified that it is rather small (∼2 D). Fluorescence measurements confirmed that the value of REES is ∼16 nm for 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-l-serine-N-(NBD) (NBD-PS) in dioleoylphosphatidylcholine vesicles. However, the observed shift is independent of both the temperature and the presence of cholesterol and is therefore insensitive to the mobility and hydration of the membrane. Moreover, red-edge excitation leads to an increased contribution of the decay component with a shorter lifetime, whereas time-resolved emission spectra of NBD-PS displayed an atypical blue shift following excitation. This excludes restrictions to solvent relaxation as the cause of the measured REES and TRES of NBD, pointing instead to the heterogeneous transverse location of probes as the origin of these effects. The latter hypothesis was confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations, from which the calculated heterogeneity of the hydration and location of NBD correlated with the measured fluorescence lifetimes/REES. Globally, our combination of theoretical and experiment-based techniques has led to a considerably improved understanding of

  12. Marine sponge cyclic peptide theonellamide A disrupts lipid bilayer integrity without forming distinct membrane pores. (United States)

    Espiritu, Rafael Atillo; Cornelio, Kimberly; Kinoshita, Masanao; Matsumori, Nobuaki; Murata, Michio; Nishimura, Shinichi; Kakeya, Hideaki; Yoshida, Minoru; Matsunaga, Shigeki


    Theonellamides (TNMs) are antifungal and cytotoxic bicyclic dodecapeptides derived from the marine sponge Theonella sp. These peptides specifically bind to 3β-hydroxysterols, resulting in 1,3-β-D-glucan overproduction and membrane damage in yeasts. The inclusion of cholesterol or ergosterol in phosphatidylcholine membranes significantly enhanced the membrane affinity of theonellamide A (TNM-A) because of its direct interaction with 3β-hydroxyl groups of sterols. To better understand TNM-induced membrane alterations, we investigated the effects of TNM-A on liposome morphology. (31)P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements revealed that the premixing of TNM-A with lipids induced smaller vesicle formation. When giant unilamellar vesicles were incubated with exogenously added TNM-A, confocal micrographs showed dynamic changes in membrane morphology, which were more frequently observed in cholesterol-containing than sterol-free liposomes. In conjunction with our previous data, these results suggest that the membrane action of TNM-A proceeds in two steps: 1) TNM-A binds to the membrane surface through direct interaction with sterols and 2) accumulated TNM-A modifies the local membrane curvature in a concentration-dependent manner, resulting in dramatic membrane morphological changes and membrane disruption.

  13. Molecular modeling of lipid probes and their influence on the membrane. (United States)

    Faller, Roland


    In this review a number of Molecular Dynamics simulation studies are discussed which focus on the understanding of the behavior of lipid probes in biomembranes. Experiments often use specialized probe moieties or molecules to report on the behavior of a membrane and try to gain information on the membrane as a whole from the probe lipids as these probes are the only things an experiment sees. Probes can be used to make NMR, EPR and fluorescence accessible to the membrane and use fluorescent or spin-active moieties for this purpose. Clearly membranes with and without probes are not identical which makes it worthwhile to elucidate the differences between them with detailed atomistic simulations. In almost all cases these differences are confined to the local neighborhood of the probe molecules which are sparsely used and generally present as single molecules. In general, the behavior of the bulk membrane lipids can be qualitatively understood from the probes but in most cases their properties cannot be directly quantitatively deduced from the probe behavior. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations edited by Ilpo Vattulainen and Tomasz Róg.

  14. In vitro study of interaction of synaptic vesicles with lipid membranes (United States)

    Ghosh, S. K.; Castorph, S.; Konovalov, O.; Jahn, R.; Holt, M.; Salditt, T.


    The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane in neurons is a crucial step in the release of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for carrying signals between nerve cells. While many of the molecular players involved in this fusion process have been identified, a precise molecular description of their roles in the process is still lacking. A case in point is the plasma membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Although PIP2 is known to be essential for vesicle fusion, its precise role in the process remains unclear. We have re-investigated the role of this lipid in membrane structure and function using the complementary experimental techniques of x-ray reflectivity, both on lipid monolayers at an air-water interface and bilayers on a solid support, and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction on lipid monolayers. These techniques provide unprecedented access to structural information at the molecular level, and detail the profound structural changes that occur in a membrane following PIP2 incorporation. Further, we also confirm and extend previous findings that the association of SVs with membranes is enhanced by PIP2 incorporation, and reveal the structural changes that underpin this phenomenon. Further, the association is further intensified by a physiologically relevant amount of Ca2+ ions in the subphase of the monolayer, as revealed by the increase in interfacial pressure seen with the lipid monolayer system. Finally, a theoretical calculation concerning the products arising from the fusion of these SVs with proteoliposomes is presented, with which we aim to illustrate the potential future uses of this system.

  15. Direct Visualization of the Action of Triton X-100 on Giant Vesicles of Erythrocyte Membrane Lipids (United States)

    Casadei, Bruna R.; Domingues, Cleyton C.; de Paula, Eneida; Riske, Karin A.


    The raft hypothesis proposes that microdomains enriched in sphingolipids, cholesterol, and specific proteins are transiently formed to accomplish important cellular tasks. Equivocally, detergent-resistant membranes were initially assumed to be identical to membrane rafts, because of similarities between their compositions. In fact, the impact of detergents in membrane organization is still controversial. Here, we use phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy to observe giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) made of erythrocyte membrane lipids (erythro-GUVs) when exposed to the detergent Triton X-100 (TX-100). We clearly show that TX-100 has a restructuring action on biomembranes. Contact with TX-100 readily induces domain formation on the previously homogeneous membrane of erythro-GUVs at physiological and room temperatures. The shape and dynamics of the formed domains point to liquid-ordered/liquid-disordered (Lo/Ld) phase separation, typically found in raft-like ternary lipid mixtures. The Ld domains are then separated from the original vesicle and completely solubilized by TX-100. The insoluble vesicle left, in the Lo phase, represents around 2/3 of the original vesicle surface at room temperature and decreases to almost 1/2 at physiological temperature. This chain of events could be entirely reproduced with biomimetic GUVs of a simple ternary lipid mixture, 2:1:2 POPC/SM/chol (phosphatidylcholine/sphyngomyelin/cholesterol), showing that this behavior will arise because of fundamental physicochemical properties of simple lipid mixtures. This work provides direct visualization of TX-100-induced domain formation followed by selective (Ld phase) solubilization in a model system with a complex biological lipid composition. PMID:24896120

  16. High lipid order of Arabidopsis cell-plate membranes mediated by sterol and DYNAMIN-RELATED PROTEIN1A function. (United States)

    Frescatada-Rosa, Márcia; Stanislas, Thomas; Backues, Steven K; Reichardt, Ilka; Men, Shuzhen; Boutté, Yohann; Jürgens, Gerd; Moritz, Thomas; Bednarek, Sebastian Y; Grebe, Markus


    Membranes of eukaryotic cells contain high lipid-order sterol-rich domains that are thought to mediate temporal and spatial organization of cellular processes. Sterols are crucial for execution of cytokinesis, the last stage of cell division, in diverse eukaryotes. The cell plate of higher-plant cells is the membrane structure that separates daughter cells during somatic cytokinesis. Cell-plate formation in Arabidopsis relies on sterol- and DYNAMIN-RELATED PROTEIN1A (DRP1A)-dependent endocytosis. However, functional relationships between lipid membrane order or lipid packing and endocytic machinery components during eukaryotic cytokinesis have not been elucidated. Using ratiometric live imaging of lipid order-sensitive fluorescent probes, we show that the cell plate of Arabidopsis thaliana represents a dynamic, high lipid-order membrane domain. The cell-plate lipid order was found to be sensitive to pharmacological and genetic alterations of sterol composition. Sterols co-localize with DRP1A at the cell plate, and DRP1A accumulates in detergent-resistant membrane fractions. Modifications of sterol concentration or composition reduce cell-plate membrane order and affect DRP1A localization. Strikingly, DRP1A function itself is essential for high lipid order at the cell plate. Our findings provide evidence that the cell plate represents a high lipid-order domain, and pave the way to explore potential feedback between lipid order and function of dynamin-related proteins during cytokinesis.

  17. Lipid asymmetry in plant plasma membranes: phosphate deficiency-induced phospholipid replacement is restricted to the cytosolic leaflet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tjällström, H; Hellgren, Lars; Wieslander, Å;


    barrier) and rafts both contain only trace amounts of DGDG, we conclude that this lipid class is not compatible with membrane functions requiring a high degree of lipid order. By not replacing phospholipids site specifically with DGDG, negative functional effects of this lipid in the plasma membrane...... are avoided.-Tjellström, H., Hellgren, L. I., Wieslander, A., Sandelius, A. S. Lipid asymmetry in plant plasma membranes: phosphate deficiency-induced phospholipid replacement is restricted to the cytosolic leaflet.......As in other eukaryotes, plant plasma membranes contain sphingolipids, phospholipids, and free sterols. In addition, plant plasma membranes also contain sterol derivatives and usually 5 mol% DGDG was included. As both the apoplastic plasma membrane leaflet (probably the major water permeability...

  18. Characterization of lipid model membranes designed for studying impact of ceramide species on drug diffusion and penetration. (United States)

    Ochalek, M; Heissler, S; Wohlrab, J; Neubert, R H H


    The stratum corneum (SC) intercellular lipid matrix plays a crucial role in the skin barrier function. In the present study, lipid model membranes mimicking its phase behavior were prepared and characterized using different analytical techniques (i.a. SAXD, HPTLC, ESEM, confocal Raman imaging, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy) in order to obtain well-standardized model membranes for diffusion and penetration studies. The lipid model membranes should be used in the future for studying the impact of each ceramide species on the diffusion and penetration of drugs. The SAXD study confirmed that the lipids within artificial lipid systems are arranged similarly to the lipids in the human SC. The polarization microscopic and ESEM images showed the homogenous deposition of lipids on the polycarbonate filter. Both the HPTLC and confocal Raman imaging studies proved the homogenous distribution of individual lipid classes within the lipid model membranes. First in vitro diffusion experiments (performed using an ATR-FTIR diffusion cell) of the hydrophilic compound, urea, revealed that the lipid model membrane represents even stronger diffusion barrier than the human SC.

  19. Reconstitution studies on the involvement of radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in damage to membrane enzymes. (United States)

    Yukawa, O; Nagatsuka, S; Nakazawa, T


    The effect of radiation on the drug-metabolizing enzyme system of microsomes, reconstituted with liposomes of microsomal phospholipids, NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase and cytochrome P-450, was examined to elucidate the role of lipid peroxidation of membranes in radiation-induced damage to membrane-bound enzymes. The reconstituted system of non-irradiated enzymes with irradiated liposomes showed a low activity of hexobarbital hydroxylation, whereas irradiated enzymes combined with non-irradiated liposomes exhibited an activity equal to that of unirradiated controls. Irradiation of liposomes caused a decrease in cytochrome P-450 content by destruction of the haem of cytochrome P-450 and also inhibited the binding capacity of cytochrome P-450 for hexobarbital. The relationship between radiation-induced lipid peroxidation and membrane-bound enzymes is discussed.

  20. Reconstitution studies on the involvement of radiation-induced lipid peroxidation in damage to membrane enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yukawa, O.; Nagatsuka, S.; Nakazawa, T. (National Inst. of Radiological Sciences, Chiba (Japan))


    The effect of ..gamma..-radiation on the drug-metabolizing enzyme system of microsomes, reconstituted with liposomes of microsomal phospholipids, NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase and cytochrome P-450, was examined to elucidate the role of lipid peroxidation of membranes in radiation-induced damage to membrane-bound enzymes. The reconstituted system of non-irradiated enzymes with irradiated liposomes showed a low activity of hexobarbital hydroxylation, whereas irradiated enzymes combined with non-irradiated liposomes exhibited an activity equal to that of unirradiated controls. Irradiation of liposomes caused a decrease in cytochrome P-450 content by destruction of the haem of cytochrome P-450 and also inhibited the binding capacity of cytochrome P-450 for hexobarbital. The relationship between radiation-induced lipid peroxidation and membrane-bound enzymes is discussed.

  1. Lipid bilayer regulation of membrane protein function: gramicidin channels as molecular force probes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundbæk, Jens August; Collingwood, S.A.; Ingolfsson, H.I.;


    Membrane protein function is regulated by the host lipid bilayer composition. This regulation may depend on specific chemical interactions between proteins and individual molecules in the bilayer, as well as on non-specific interactions between proteins and the bilayer behaving as a physical entity...... with collective physical properties (e.g. thickness, intrinsic monolayer curvature or elastic moduli). Studies in physico-chemical model systems have demonstrated that changes in bilayer physical properties can regulate membrane protein function by altering the energetic cost of the bilayer deformation associated...... physical properties. This advance is because of the introduction of new tools for studying lipid bilayer regulation of protein function. The present review provides an introduction to the regulation of membrane protein function by the bilayer physical properties. We further describe the use of gramicidin...

  2. The membrane-induced structure of melittin is correlated with the fluidity of the lipids. (United States)

    Andersson, August; Biverståhl, Henrik; Nordin, Jon; Danielsson, Jens; Lindahl, Emma; Mäler, Lena


    The effect of the bee toxin melittin on DMPC dynamics in fast-tumbling bicelles has been investigated. The (13)C R(1) and (13)C-(1)H NOE relaxation parameters for DMPC were used to monitor the effect of melittin and cholesterol on lipid dynamics. It was found that melittin has the largest effect on the DMPC mobility in DMPC/DHPC bicelles, while less effect was observed in cholesterol-doped bicelles, or in bicelles made with CHAPS, indicating that the rigidity of the membrane affects the melittin-membrane interaction. CD spectra were analysed in terms of cooperativity of the alpha-helix to random coil transition in melittin, and these results also indicated similar differences between the bicelles. The study shows that bicelles can be used to investigate lipid dynamics by spin relaxation, and in particular of peptide-induced changes in membrane fluidity.

  3. The Deleterious Effects of Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress on Palmitoylation, Membrane Lipid Rafts and Lipid-Based Cellular Signalling: New Drug Targets in Neuroimmune Disorders. (United States)

    Morris, Gerwyn; Walder, Ken; Puri, Basant K; Berk, Michael; Maes, Michael


    Oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) is causatively implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, schizophrenia and depression. Many of the consequences stemming from O&NS, including damage to proteins, lipids and DNA, are well known, whereas the effects of O&NS on lipoprotein-based cellular signalling involving palmitoylation and plasma membrane lipid rafts are less well documented. The aim of this narrative review is to discuss the mechanisms involved in lipid-based signalling, including palmitoylation, membrane/lipid raft (MLR) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) functions, the effects of O&NS processes on these processes and their role in the abovementioned diseases. S-palmitoylation is a post-translational modification, which regulates protein trafficking and association with the plasma membrane, protein subcellular location and functions. Palmitoylation and MRLs play a key role in neuronal functions, including glutamatergic neurotransmission, and immune-inflammatory responses. Palmitoylation, MLRs and n-3 PUFAs are vulnerable to the corruptive effects of O&NS. Chronic O&NS inhibits palmitoylation and causes profound changes in lipid membrane composition, e.g. n-3 PUFA depletion, increased membrane permeability and reduced fluidity, which together lead to disorders in intracellular signal transduction, receptor dysfunction and increased neurotoxicity. Disruption of lipid-based signalling is a source of the neuroimmune disorders involved in the pathophysiology of the abovementioned diseases. n-3 PUFA supplementation is a rational therapeutic approach targeting disruptions in lipid-based signalling.

  4. Tracking single particles on supported lipid membranes: multi-mobility diffusion and nanoscopic confinement

    CERN Document Server



    Supported lipid bilayers have been studied intensively over the past two decades. In this work, we study the diffusion of single gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with diameter of 20 nm attached to GM1 ganglioside or DOPE lipids at different concentrations in supported DOPC bilayers. The indefinite photostability of GNPs combined with the high sensitivity of interferometric scattering microscopy (iSCAT) allows us to achieve 1.9 nm spatial precision at 1 ms temporal resolution, while maintaining long recording times. Our trajectories visualize strong transient confinements within domains as small as 20 nm, and the statistical analysis of the data reveals multiple mobilities and deviations from normal diffusion. We present a detailed analysis of our findings and provide interpretations regarding the effect of the supporting substrate and GM1 clustering. We also comment on the use of high-speed iSCAT for investigating diffusion of lipids, proteins or viruses in lipid membranes with unprecedented spatial and temporal res...

  5. Physical mechanisms of micro- and nanodomain formation in multicomponent lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Schmid, Friederike


    This article summarizes a variety of physical mechanisms proposed in the literature, which can generate micro- and nanodomains in multicomponent lipid bilayers and biomembranes. It mainly focusses on lipid-driven mechanisms that do not involve direct protein-protein interactions. Specifically, it considers (i) equilibrium mechanisms based on lipid-lipid phase separation such as critical cluster formation close to critical points, and multiple domain formation in curved geometries, (ii) equilibrium mechanisms that stabilize two-dimensional microemulsions, such as the effect of linactants and the effect of curvature-composition coupling in bilayers and monolayers, and (iii) non-equilibrium mechanisms induced by the interaction of a biomembrane with the cellular environment, such as membrane recycling and the pinning effects of the cytoplasm. Theoretical predictions are discussed together with simulations and experiments. The presentation is guided by the theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena, and t...

  6. A New Method for Measuring Edge Tensions and Stability of Lipid Bilayers: Effect of Membrane Composition

    CERN Document Server

    Portet, Thomas; 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.09.032


    We report a new and facile method for measuring edge tensions of lipid membranes. The approach is based on electroporation of giant unilamellar vesicles and analysis of the pore closure dynamics. We applied this method to evaluate the edge tension in membranes with four different compositions: egg phosphatidylcholine (EggPC), dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC), and mixtures of the latter with cholesterol and dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE). Our data confirm previous results for EggPC and DOPC. The addition of 17 mol % cholesterol to the DOPC membrane causes an increase in the membrane edge tension. On the contrary, when the same fraction of DOPE is added to the membrane, a decrease in the edge tension is observed, which is an unexpected result considering the inverted-cone shape geometry of the molecule. Presumably, interlipid hydrogen bonding lies in the origin of this behavior. Furthermore, cholesterol was found to lower the lysis tension of DOPC bilayers. This behavior differs from that observed on...

  7. Estradiol Modulates Membrane-Linked ATPases, Antioxidant Enzymes, Membrane Fluidity, Lipid Peroxidation, and Lipofuscin in Aged Rat Liver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pardeep Kumar


    Full Text Available Free radical production and oxidative stress are known to increase in liver during aging, and may contribute to the oxidative damage. These changes increase during menopausal condition in females when the level of estradiol is decreased. The objective of this study was to observe the changes in activities of membrane linked ATPases (Na+K+ ATPase, Ca2+ ATPase, antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, glutathione-S-transferase, lipid peroxidation levels, lipofuscin content and membrane fluidity occurring in livers of female rats of 3, 12 and 24 months age groups, and to see whether these changes are restored to 3 months control levels rats after exogenous administration of 17-β-estradiol (E2. The aged rats (12 and 24 months were given subcutaneous injection of E2 (0.1 μg/g body weight daily for one month. The results obtained in the present work revealed that normal aging was associated with significant decrease in the activities of membrane linked ATPases, antioxidant enzymes, membrane fluidity and an increase in lipid peroxidation and lipofuscin content in livers of aging female rats. The present study showed that E2 treatment reversed the changes to normal levels. E2 treatment may be beneficial in preventing some of the age related changes in the liver by increasing antioxidant defenses.

  8. Snake cytotoxins bind to membranes via interactions with phosphatidylserine head groups of lipids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia G Konshina

    Full Text Available The major representatives of Elapidae snake venom, cytotoxins (CTs, share similar three-fingered fold and exert diverse range of biological activities against various cell types. CT-induced cell death starts from the membrane recognition process, whose molecular details remain unclear. It is known, however, that the presence of anionic lipids in cell membranes is one of the important factors determining CT-membrane binding. In this work, we therefore investigated specific interactions between one of the most abundant of such lipids, phosphatidylserine (PS, and CT 4 of Naja kaouthia using a combined, experimental and modeling, approach. It was shown that incorporation of PS into zwitterionic liposomes greatly increased the membrane-damaging activity of CT 4 measured by the release of the liposome-entrapped calcein fluorescent dye. The CT-induced leakage rate depends on the PS concentration with a maximum at approximately 20% PS. Interestingly, the effects observed for PS were much more pronounced than those measured for another anionic lipid, sulfatide. To delineate the potential PS binding sites on CT 4 and estimate their relative affinities, a series of computer simulations was performed for the systems containing the head group of PS and different spatial models of CT 4 in aqueous solution and in an implicit membrane. This was done using an original hybrid computational protocol implementing docking, Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. As a result, at least three putative PS-binding sites with different affinities to PS molecule were delineated. Being located in different parts of the CT molecule, these anion-binding sites can potentially facilitate and modulate the multi-step process of the toxin insertion into lipid bilayers. This feature together with the diverse binding affinities of the sites to a wide variety of anionic targets on the membrane surface appears to be functionally meaningful and may adjust CT action against

  9. Membrane glucocorticoid receptor activation induces proteomic changes aligning with classical glucocorticoid effects. (United States)

    Vernocchi, Sara; Battello, Nadia; Schmitz, Stephanie; Revets, Dominique; Billing, Anja M; Turner, Jonathan D; Muller, Claude P


    Glucocorticoids exert rapid nongenomic effects by several mechanisms including the activation of a membrane-bound glucocorticoid receptor (mGR). Here, we report the first proteomic study on the effects of mGR activation by BSA-conjugated cortisol (Cort-BSA). A subset of target proteins in the proteomic data set was validated by Western blot and we found them responding to mGR activation by BSA-conjugated cortisol in three additional cell lines, indicating a conserved effect in cells originating from different tissues. Changes in the proteome of BSA-conjugated cortisol treated CCRF-CEM leukemia cells were associated with early and rapid pro-apoptotic, immune-modulatory and metabolic effects aligning with and possibly "priming" classical activities of the cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor (cGR). PCR arrays investigating target genes of the major signaling pathways indicated that the mGR does not exert its effects through the transcriptional activity of any of the most common kinases in these leukemic cells, but RhoA signaling emerged from our pathway analysis. All cell lines tested displayed very low levels of mGR on their surface. Highly sensitive and specific in situ proximity ligation assay visualized low numbers of mGR even in cells previously thought to be mGR negative. We obtained similar results when using three distinct anti-GR monoclonal antibodies directed against the N-terminal half of the cGR. This strongly suggests that the mGR and the cGR have a high sequence homology and most probably originate from the same gene. Furthermore, the mGR appears to reside in caveolae and its association with caveolin-1 (Cav-1) was clearly detected in two of the four cell lines investigated using double recognition proximity ligation assay. Our results indicate however that Cav-1 is not necessary for membrane localization of the GR since CCRF-CEM and Jurkat cells have a functional mGR, but did not express this caveolar protein. However, if expressed, this membrane protein

  10. Interaction of carbonylcyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) with lipid membrane systems: a biophysical approach with relevance to mitochondrial uncoupling. (United States)

    Monteiro, João P; Martins, André F; Lúcio, Marlene; Reis, Salette; Geraldes, Carlos F G C; Oliveira, Paulo J; Jurado, Amália S


    FCCP (carbonylcyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone), a classical uncoupler of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, is used in this study as a model to clarify how interactions of uncouplers with membrane lipid bilayers may influence membrane biophysics and their protonophoric activity itself. In order to disclose putative effects that may be important when considering using uncouplers for pharmacological purposes, an extensive characterization of FCCP membrane lipid interactions using accurate biophysical approaches and simple model lipid systems was carried out. Differential scanning calorimetry studies showed that FCCP molecules disturb lipid bilayers and favor lateral phase separation in mixed lipid systems. (31)P NMR assays indicated that FCCP alters the curvature elastic properties of membrane models containing non-bilayer lipids, favoring lamellar/H(II) transition, probably by alleviation of hydrocarbon-packing constraints in the inverted hexagonal phase. Taking advantage of FCCP quenching effects on the fluorescent probes DPH (1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene) and DPH-PA (3-(p-(6-phenyl)-1,3,5-hexatrienyl)phenylpropionic acid), it is demonstrated that FCCP distributes across the bilayer thickness in both a single and a ternary lipid system mimicking the inner mitochondrial membrane. This behavior is consistent with the ability of the compound to migrate through the thickness of the inner mitochondrial membrane, an event required for its protonophoric activity. Finally, the study of the membrane fluidity in different lipid systems, as reported by the rotational correlation time (θ) of DPH or DPH-PA, showed that the extension at which FCCP disturbs membrane properties associated with the dynamics and the order of lipid molecules depends on the lipid composition of the model lipid system assayed.

  11. On calculation of the electrostatic potential of a phosphatidylinositol phosphate-containing phosphatidylcholine lipid membrane accounting for membrane dynamics. (United States)

    Fuller, Jonathan C; Martinez, Michael; Wade, Rebecca C


    Many signaling events require the binding of cytoplasmic proteins to cell membranes by recognition of specific charged lipids, such as phosphoinositol-phosphates. As a model for a protein-membrane binding site, we consider one charged phosphoinositol phosphate (PtdIns(3)P) embedded in a phosphatidylcholine bilayer. As the protein-membrane binding is driven by electrostatic interactions, continuum solvent models require an accurate representation of the electrostatic potential of the phosphoinositol phosphate-containing membrane. We computed and analyzed the electrostatic potentials of snapshots taken at regular intervals from molecular dynamics simulations of the bilayer. We observe considerable variation in the electrostatic potential of the bilayer both along a single simulation and between simulations performed with the GAFF or CHARMM c36 force fields. However, we find that the choice of GAFF or CHARMM c36 parameters has little effect on the electrostatic potential of a given configuration of the bilayer with a PtdIns(3)P embedded in it. From our results, we propose a remedian averaging method for calculating the electrostatic potential of a membrane system that is suitable for simulations of protein-membrane binding with a continuum solvent model.

  12. Urothelial endocytic vesicle recycling and lysosomal degradative pathway regulated by lipid membrane composition. (United States)

    Grasso, E J; Calderón, R O


    The urothelium, a specialized epithelium that covers the mucosa cell surface of the urinary bladder, undergoes dramatic morphological changes during the micturition cycle that involve a membrane apical traffic. This traffic was first described as a lysosomal pathway, in addition to the known endocytosis/exocytosis membrane recycling. In an attempt to understand the role of membrane lipid composition in those effects, we previously described the lipid-dependent leakage of the endocytosed vesicle content. In this work, we demonstrated clear differences in the traffic of both the fluid probe and the membrane-bound probe in urothelial umbrella cells by using spectrofluorometry and/or confocal and epifluorescence microscopy. Different membrane lipid compositions were established by using three diet formulae enriched in oleic acid, linoleic acid and a commercial formula. Between three and five animals for each dietary treatment were used for each analysis. The decreased endocytosis of both fluid and membrane-bound probes (approximately 32 and 49 % lower, respectively) in oleic acid-derived umbrella cells was concomitant with an increased recycling (approximately 4.0 and 3.7 times, respectively) and diminished sorting to the lysosome (approximately 23 and 37 %, respectively) when compared with the control umbrella cells. The higher intravesicular pH and the impairment of the lysosomal pathway of oleic acid diet-derived vesicles compared to linoleic acid diet-derived vesicles and control diet-derived vesicles correlate with our findings of a lower V-ATPase activity previously reported. We integrated the results obtained in the present and previous work to determine the sorting of endocytosed material (fluid and membrane-bound probes) into the different cell compartments. Finally, the weighted average effect of the individual alterations on the intracellular distribution was evaluated. The results shown in this work add evidences for the modulatory role of the membrane

  13. Membrane lipids regulate ganglioside GM2 catabolism and GM2 activator protein activity. (United States)

    Anheuser, Susi; Breiden, Bernadette; Schwarzmann, Günter; Sandhoff, Konrad


    Ganglioside GM2 is the major lysosomal storage compound of Tay-Sachs disease. It also accumulates in Niemann-Pick disease types A and B with primary storage of SM and with cholesterol in type C. Reconstitution of GM2 catabolism with β-hexosaminidase A and GM2 activator protein (GM2AP) at uncharged liposomal surfaces carrying GM2 as substrate generated only a physiologically irrelevant catabolic rate, even at pH 4.2. However, incorporation of anionic phospholipids into the GM2 carrying liposomes stimulated GM2 hydrolysis more than 10-fold, while the incorporation of plasma membrane stabilizing lipids (SM and cholesterol) generated a strong inhibition of GM2 hydrolysis, even in the presence of anionic phospholipids. Mobilization of membrane lipids by GM2AP was also inhibited in the presence of cholesterol or SM, as revealed by surface plasmon resonance studies. These lipids also reduced the interliposomal transfer rate of 2-NBD-GM1 by GM2AP, as observed in assays using Förster resonance energy transfer. Our data raise major concerns about the usage of recombinant His-tagged GM2AP compared with untagged protein. The former binds more strongly to anionic GM2-carrying liposomal surfaces, increases GM2 hydrolysis, and accelerates intermembrane transfer of 2-NBD-GM1, but does not mobilize membrane lipids.

  14. Membrane lipids regulate ganglioside GM2 catabolism and GM2 activator protein activity[S (United States)

    Anheuser, Susi; Breiden, Bernadette; Schwarzmann, Günter; Sandhoff, Konrad


    Ganglioside GM2 is the major lysosomal storage compound of Tay-Sachs disease. It also accumulates in Niemann-Pick disease types A and B with primary storage of SM and with cholesterol in type C. Reconstitution of GM2 catabolism with β-hexosaminidase A and GM2 activator protein (GM2AP) at uncharged liposomal surfaces carrying GM2 as substrate generated only a physiologically irrelevant catabolic rate, even at pH 4.2. However, incorporation of anionic phospholipids into the GM2 carrying liposomes stimulated GM2 hydrolysis more than 10-fold, while the incorporation of plasma membrane stabilizing lipids (SM and cholesterol) generated a strong inhibition of GM2 hydrolysis, even in the presence of anionic phospholipids. Mobilization of membrane lipids by GM2AP was also inhibited in the presence of cholesterol or SM, as revealed by surface plasmon resonance studies. These lipids also reduced the interliposomal transfer rate of 2-NBD-GM1 by GM2AP, as observed in assays using Förster resonance energy transfer. Our data raise major concerns about the usage of recombinant His-tagged GM2AP compared with untagged protein. The former binds more strongly to anionic GM2-carrying liposomal surfaces, increases GM2 hydrolysis, and accelerates intermembrane transfer of 2-NBD-GM1, but does not mobilize membrane lipids. PMID:26175473

  15. Changes in membrane lipids and carotenoids during light acclimation in a marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp.

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Olimpio Montero; Alberto Sánchez-Guijo; Luis M Lubián; Gonzalo Martínez-Rodríguez


    Time course of carotenoid and membrane lipid variation during high light (HL) acclimation (about 85 mol m−2 s−1), after transfer from low light (LL) (5–10 μmol m−2 s−1), was determined in a marine Synechococcus strain. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to diode array detector (DAD) or electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) was used for compound separation and detection. Myxoxanthophyll rose within a time interval of 8 h to 24 h after the onset of exposure to HL. -carotene content started to decrease after 4 h of the onset of exposure to HL. Zeaxanthin content rose with exposure to HL, but it was only significant after 24 h of exposure. Carotenoid changes are in agreement with a coordinated activity of the enzymes of the myxoxanthophyll biosynthetic pathway, with no rate-limiting intermediate steps. Lipid analysis showed all species with a C18:3/C16:0 composition increased their content, the changes of PG(18:3/16:0) and MGDG(18:3/16:0) being primarily significant. Major lipid changes were also found to occur within 24 h. These changes might suggest reduction and reorganization of the thylakoid membrane structure. Hypotheses are also drawn on the role played by lipid molecule shape and their possible effect in membrane fluidity and protein accommodation.

  16. Roles of Interleaflet Coupling and Hydrophobic Mismatch in Lipid Membrane Phase-Separation Kinetics (United States)


    Characterizing the nanoscale dynamic organization within lipid bilayer membranes is central to our understanding of cell membranes at a molecular level. We investigate phase separation and communication across leaflets in ternary lipid bilayers, including saturated lipids with between 12 and 20 carbons per tail. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations reveal a novel two-step kinetics due to hydrophobic mismatch, in which the initial response of the apposed leaflets upon quenching is to increase local asymmetry (antiregistration), followed by dominance of symmetry (registration) as the bilayer equilibrates. Antiregistration can become thermodynamically preferred if domain size is restricted below ∼20 nm, with implications for the symmetry of rafts and nanoclusters in cell membranes, which have similar reported sizes. We relate our findings to theory derived from a semimicroscopic model in which the leaflets experience a “direct” area-dependent coupling, and an “indirect” coupling that arises from hydrophobic mismatch and is most important at domain boundaries. Registered phases differ in composition from antiregistered phases, consistent with a direct coupling between the leaflets. Increased hydrophobic mismatch purifies the phases, suggesting that it contributes to the molecule-level lipid immiscibility. Our results demonstrate an interplay of competing interleaflet couplings that affect phase compositions and kinetics, and lead to a length scale that can influence lateral and transverse bilayer organization within cells. PMID:27574865

  17. 3D pressure field in lipid membranes and membrane-protein complexes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollila, O H Samuli; Risselada, H Jelger; Louhivuori, Martti;


    We calculate full 3D pressure fields for inhomogeneous nanoscale systems using molecular dynamics simulation data. The fields represent systems with increasing level of complexity, ranging from semivesicles and vesicles to membranes characterized by coexistence of two phases, including also...... a protein-membrane complex. We show that the 3D pressure field is distinctly different for curved and planar bilayers, the pressure field depends strongly on the phase of the membrane, and that an integral protein modulates the tension and elastic properties of the membrane....

  18. Formation and fluidity measurement of supported lipid bilayer on polyvinyl chloride membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kobayashi, Takuji, E-mail:; Kono, Akiteru, E-mail:; Sawada, Kazuaki [Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka Tempaku-cho, Toyohashi, 441-8580 (Japan); Futagawa, Masato [Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and Head Office for the Tailor-Made and Baton-Zone Graduate Course, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka Tempaku-cho, Toyohashi, 441-8580 (Japan); Tero, Ryugo, E-mail: [Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute and Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka Tempaku-cho, Toyohashi, 441-8580 (Japan)


    We prepared an artificial lipid bilayer on a plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) membrane on a Si3N4 layer deposited on a Si wafer. We optimized the experimental condition for the fabrication of the PVC membrane, and obtained a PVC membrane with a flat and uniform surface on the scale of several hundreds of micrometer suitable for a substrate for supported lipid bilayers (SLBs). The SLB of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) was formed on the PVC membrane by the vesicle fusion method. The observation with a conventional epi-fluorescence microscope and a confocal laser scanning microscope gave geometrically uniform images of the SLB on the PVC membrane. The fluidity and the mobile fraction of the SLB was evaluated by the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching method, and compared with that on a thermally oxidized SiO{sub 2}/Si substrate. The SLB on the PVC membrane contained immobile fraction ∼30%, but the diffusion in the mobile fraction was two times faster than that in the SLB on SiO{sub 2}/Si, which had little immobile fraction.

  19. Effect of Pulsed Electric Field on Membrane Lipids and Oxidative Injury of Salmonella typhimurium (United States)

    Yun, Ou; Zeng, Xin-An; Brennan, Charles S.; Han, Zhong


    Salmonella typhimurium cells were subjected to pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment at 25 kV/cm for 0–4 ms to investigate the effect of PEF on the cytoplasmic membrane lipids and oxidative injury of cells. Results indicated that PEF treatment induced a decrease of membrane fluidity of Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimuriumi), possibly due to the alterations of fatty acid biosynthesis-associated gene expressions (down-regulation of cfa and fabA gene expressions and the up-regulation of fabD gene expression), which, in turn, modified the composition of membrane lipid (decrease in the content ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids). In addition, oxidative injury induced by PEF treatment was associated with an increase in the content of malondialdehyde. The up-regulation of cytochrome bo oxidase gene expressions (cyoA, cyoB, and cyoC) indicated that membrane damage was induced by PEF treatment, which was related to the repairing mechanism of alleviating the oxidative injury caused by PEF treatment. Based on these results, we achieved better understanding of microbial injury induced by PEF, suggesting that micro-organisms tend to decrease membrane fluidity in response to PEF treatment and, thus, a greater membrane fluidity might improve the efficiency of PEF treatment to inactivate micro-organisms. PMID:27556460

  20. Neutron diffraction studies of the interaction between amphotericin B and lipid-sterol model membranes (United States)

    Foglia, Fabrizia; Lawrence, M. Jayne; Demeė, Bruno; Fragneto, Giovanna; Barlow, David


    Over the last 50 years or so, amphotericin has been widely employed in treating life-threatening systemic fungal infections. Its usefulness in the clinic, however, has always been circumscribed by its dose-limiting side-effects, and it is also now compromised by an increasing incidence of pathogen resistance. Combating these problems through development of new anti-fungal agents requires detailed knowledge of the drug's molecular mechanism, but unfortunately this is far from clear. Neutron diffraction studies of the drug's incorporation within lipid-sterol membranes have here been performed to shed light on this problem. The drug is shown to disturb the structures of both fungal and mammalian membranes, and co-localises with the membrane sterols in a manner consistent with trans-membrane pore formation. The differences seen in the membrane lipid ordering and in the distributions of the drug-ergosterol and drug-cholesterol complexes within the membranes are consistent with the drug's selectivity for fungal vs. human cells.

  1. Effect of Pulsed Electric Field on Membrane Lipids and Oxidative Injury of Salmonella typhimurium. (United States)

    Yun, Ou; Zeng, Xin-An; Brennan, Charles S; Han, Zhong


    Salmonella typhimurium cells were subjected to pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment at 25 kV/cm for 0-4 ms to investigate the effect of PEF on the cytoplasmic membrane lipids and oxidative injury of cells. Results indicated that PEF treatment induced a decrease of membrane fluidity of Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimuriumi), possibly due to the alterations of fatty acid biosynthesis-associated gene expressions (down-regulation of cfa and fabA gene expressions and the up-regulation of fabD gene expression), which, in turn, modified the composition of membrane lipid (decrease in the content ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids). In addition, oxidative injury induced by PEF treatment was associated with an increase in the content of malondialdehyde. The up-regulation of cytochrome bo oxidase gene expressions (cyoA, cyoB, and cyoC) indicated that membrane damage was induced by PEF treatment, which was related to the repairing mechanism of alleviating the oxidative injury caused by PEF treatment. Based on these results, we achieved better understanding of microbial injury induced by PEF, suggesting that micro-organisms tend to decrease membrane fluidity in response to PEF treatment and, thus, a greater membrane fluidity might improve the efficiency of PEF treatment to inactivate micro-organisms.

  2. Effect of Pulsed Electric Field on Membrane Lipids and Oxidative Injury of Salmonella typhimurium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ou Yun


    Full Text Available Salmonella typhimurium cells were subjected to pulsed electric field (PEF treatment at 25 kV/cm for 0–4 ms to investigate the effect of PEF on the cytoplasmic membrane lipids and oxidative injury of cells. Results indicated that PEF treatment induced a decrease of membrane fluidity of Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimuriumi, possibly due to the alterations of fatty acid biosynthesis-associated gene expressions (down-regulation of cfa and fabA gene expressions and the up-regulation of fabD gene expression, which, in turn, modified the composition of membrane lipid (decrease in the content ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids. In addition, oxidative injury induced by PEF treatment was associated with an increase in the content of malondialdehyde. The up-regulation of cytochrome bo oxidase gene expressions (cyoA, cyoB, and cyoC indicated that membrane damage was induced by PEF treatment, which was related to the repairing mechanism of alleviating the oxidative injury caused by PEF treatment. Based on these results, we achieved better understanding of microbial injury induced by PEF, suggesting that micro-organisms tend to decrease membrane fluidity in response to PEF treatment and, thus, a greater membrane fluidity might improve the efficiency of PEF treatment to inactivate micro-organisms.

  3. Formation and fluidity measurement of supported lipid bilayer on polyvinyl chloride membrane (United States)

    Kobayashi, Takuji; Kono, Akiteru; Futagawa, Masato; Sawada, Kazuaki; Tero, Ryugo


    We prepared an artificial lipid bilayer on a plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) membrane on a Si3N4 layer deposited on a Si wafer. We optimized the experimental condition for the fabrication of the PVC membrane, and obtained a PVC membrane with a flat and uniform surface on the scale of several hundreds of micrometer suitable for a substrate for supported lipid bilayers (SLBs). The SLB of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) was formed on the PVC membrane by the vesicle fusion method. The observation with a conventional epi-fluorescence microscope and a confocal laser scanning microscope gave geometrically uniform images of the SLB on the PVC membrane. The fluidity and the mobile fraction of the SLB was evaluated by the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching method, and compared with that on a thermally oxidized SiO2/Si substrate. The SLB on the PVC membrane contained immobile fraction ˜30%, but the diffusion in the mobile fraction was two times faster than that in the SLB on SiO2/Si, which had little immobile fraction.

  4. Correlated lateral phase separations in stacks of lipid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoshino, Takuma, E-mail: [Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo 192-0397 (Japan); Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China, CAS, Beijing 100190 (China); Komura, Shigeyuki, E-mail: [Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo 192-0397 (Japan); Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China, CAS, Beijing 100190 (China); Andelman, David, E-mail: [Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China, CAS, Beijing 100190 (China)


    Motivated by the experimental study of Tayebi et al. [Nat. Mater. 11, 1074 (2012)] on phase separation of stacked multi-component lipid bilayers, we propose a model composed of stacked two-dimensional Ising spins. We study both its static and dynamical features using Monte Carlo simulations with Kawasaki spin exchange dynamics that conserves the order parameter. We show that at thermodynamical equilibrium, due to strong inter-layer correlations, the system forms a continuous columnar structure for any finite interaction across adjacent layers. Furthermore, the phase separation shows a faster dynamics as the inter-layer interaction is increased. This temporal behavior is mainly due to an effective deeper temperature quench because of the larger value of the critical temperature, T{sub c}, for larger inter-layer interaction. When the temperature ratio, T/T{sub c}, is kept fixed, the temporal growth exponent does not increase and even slightly decreases as a function of the increased inter-layer interaction.

  5. Effects of Monoclonal Antibody Against Adipocyte-Specific Membrane Protein on Lipid Metabolism in Pigs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Shi-zheng; LIU Ling-yun; ZHAO Su-mei; HU Hong-mei; GE Chang-rong; LIU Yong-gang; ZHANG Xi


    This study was to investigate the regulation of monoclonal antibodies against adipocyte membrane proteins(McAb)on lipid metabolism in pigs.Forty Landrace x Saba pigs were randomly divided into eight groups;the control group was given 10 mL saline and the treat groups were given monoclonal antibody against adipocyte-specific membrane protein with 0.10 0.5,and 1.0 mg kg-1 body weight at 15 and 60 kg body weight,respectively,by intraperitoneal injection.The results showed that McAb could increase,significantly,serum lipoprotein lipase activity and reduce serum nonesterified fatty acid(NEFA)content.Meanwhile,McAb increased content of serum lipid,triglyceride(TG),cholesterol(CHO),high density lipoprotein(HDL),and low density lipoprotein(LDL) both at 15 and 60 kg body weight.However,McAb affected more significantly the lipid metabolism at 15 kg body weight than at 60 kg body weight.Moreover,this effect of McAb on lipid metabolism exhibited dose-dependent effect.These results suggested that this monoclonal antibody increased lipase activity,promoted lipolysis,and utilization of lipid so that McAb could be applied to restrain excessive fat deposition in porcine production through the regulation of fat metabolism.

  6. Synergistic permeability enhancing effect of lysophospholipids and fatty acids on lipid membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Davidsen, Jesper; Mouritsen, O.G.; Jørgensen, K.


    The permeability-enhancing effects of the two surfactants, 1-paltnitoyl-2-lyso-sn-gycero-3-pllosplloclloline (lysoPPC) and palmitic acid (PA), on lipid membranes that at physiological temperatures are in the gel, fluid, and liquid-ordered phases were determined using the concentration-dependent s......The permeability-enhancing effects of the two surfactants, 1-paltnitoyl-2-lyso-sn-gycero-3-pllosplloclloline (lysoPPC) and palmitic acid (PA), on lipid membranes that at physiological temperatures are in the gel, fluid, and liquid-ordered phases were determined using the concentration......-dependent self-quenching properties of the hydrophilic marker, calcein. Adding lysoPPC to lipid membranes in the gel-phase induced a time-dependent calcein release curve that can be described by the sum of two exponentials, whereas RA induces a considerably more complex release curve. However, when lyso......PPC and PA were added simultaneously in equimolar concentrations, a dramatic synergistic permeability-enhancing effect was observed. In contrast, when both lysoPPC and PA are added to liposomal membranes that are in the fluid or liquid-ordered phases, no effect on the transmembrane permeation of calcein...

  7. Self assembly of HIV-1 Gag protein on lipid membranes generates PI(4,5)P2/Cholesterol nanoclusters (United States)

    Yandrapalli, Naresh; Lubart, Quentin; Tanwar, Hanumant S.; Picart, Catherine; Mak, Johnson; Muriaux, Delphine; Favard, Cyril


    The self-assembly of HIV-1 Gag polyprotein at the inner leaflet of the cell host plasma membrane is the key orchestrator of virus assembly. The binding between Gag and the plasma membrane is mediated by specific interaction of the Gag matrix domain and the PI(4,5)P2 lipid (PIP2). It is unknown whether this interaction could lead to local reorganization of the plasma membrane lipids. In this study, using model membranes, we examined the ability of Gag to segregate specific lipids upon self-assembly. We show for the first time that Gag self-assembly is responsible for the formation of PIP2 lipid nanoclusters, enriched in cholesterol but not in sphingomyelin. We also show that Gag mainly partition into liquid-disordered domains of these lipid membranes. Our work strongly suggests that, instead of targeting pre-existing plasma membrane lipid domains, Gag is more prone to generate PIP2/Cholesterol lipid nanodomains at the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane during early events of virus assembly. PMID:28008947

  8. Molecular dynamics study of lipid bilayers modeling the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and leukemic GRSL cells. (United States)

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Okazaki, Susumu; Ueoka, Ryuichi


    Molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and thymus-derived leukemic GRSL cells in water have been performed under physiological isothermal-isobaric conditions (310.15K and 1 atm) to investigate changes in membrane properties induced by canceration. The model membranes used in our calculations for normal and leukemic thymocytes comprised 23 and 25 kinds of lipids, respectively, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophospholipids, and cholesterol. The mole fractions of the lipids adopted here were based on previously published experimental values. Our calculations clearly showed that the membrane area was increased in leukemic cells, and that the isothermal area compressibility of the leukemic plasma membranes was double that of normal cells. The calculated membranes of leukemic cells were thus considerably bulkier and softer in the lateral direction compared with those of normal cells. The tilt angle of the cholesterol and the conformation of the phospholipid fatty acid tails both showed a lower level of order in leukemic cell membranes compared with normal cell membranes. The lateral radial distribution function of the lipids also showed a more disordered structure in leukemic cell membranes than in normal cell membranes. These observations all show that, for the present thymocytes, the lateral structure of the membrane is considerably disordered by canceration. Furthermore, the calculated lateral self-diffusion coefficient of the lipid molecules in leukemic cell membranes was almost double that in normal cell membranes. The calculated rotational and wobbling autocorrelation functions also indicated that the molecular motion of the lipids was enhanced in leukemic cell membranes. Thus, here we have demonstrated that the membranes of thymocyte leukemic cells are more disordered and more fluid than normal cell membranes.

  9. Crossover of two power laws in the anomalous diffusion of a two lipid membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakalis, Evangelos, E-mail:, E-mail:; Höfinger, Siegfried; Zerbetto, Francesco, E-mail:, E-mail: [Dipartimento di Chimica “G. Ciamician”, Universita’ di Bologna, Via F. Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna (Italy); Venturini, Alessandro [Institute for the Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity, National Research Council of Italy, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna (Italy)


    Molecular dynamics simulations of a bi-layer membrane made by the same number of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-glycero-3-phospho-ethanolamine and palmitoyl-oleoyl phosphatidylserine lipids reveal sub-diffusional motion, which presents a crossover between two different power laws. Fractional Brownian motion is the stochastic mechanism that governs the motion in both regimes. The location of the crossover point is justified with simple geometrical arguments and is due to the activation of the mechanism of circumrotation of lipids about each other.

  10. Intrinsic stability of Brassicaceae plasma membrane in relation to changes in proteins and lipids as a response to salinity. (United States)

    Chalbi, Najla; Martínez-Ballesta, Ma Carmen; Youssef, Nabil Ben; Carvajal, Micaela


    Changes in plasma membrane lipids, such as sterols and fatty acids, have been observed as a result of salt stress. These alterations, together with modification of the plasma membrane protein profile, confer changes in the physical properties of the membrane to be taken into account for biotechnological uses. In our experiments, the relationship between lipids and proteins in three different Brassicaceae species differing in salinity tolerance (Brassica oleracea, B. napus and Cakile maritima) and the final plasma membrane stability were studied. The observed changes in the sterol (mainly an increase in sitosterol) and fatty acid composition (increase in RUFA) in each species led to physical adaptation of the plasma membrane to salt stress. The in vitro vesicles stability was higher in the less tolerant (B. oleracea) plants together with low lipoxygenase activity. These results indicate that the proteins/lipids ratio and lipid composition is an important aspect to take into account for the use of natural vesicles in plant biotechnology.

  11. Interaction between Antibacterial Peptide Apep10 and Escherichia coli Membrane Lipids Evaluated Using Liposome as Pseudo-Stationary Phase (United States)

    Li, Man


    Liposomes constructed from Escherichia coli membrane lipids were used as a pseudo-stationary phase in capillary electrophoresis and immobilised liposome chromatography to evaluate the interaction between antibacterial peptide (ABP) Apep10 and bacterial membrane lipids. The peptide mobility decreased as the concentration of liposomes increased, providing evidence for the existence of this interaction. The binding constant between Apep10 and the Escherichia coli membranes lipid liposome was higher than that of Apep10 with a mixed phospholipids liposome at the same temperature. The capillary electrophoresis results indicate that the binding ability of Apep10 with a liposome was dependent on the liposome’s lipid compositions. Thermodynamic analysis by immobilised liposome chromatography indicated that hydrophobic and electrostatic effects contributed to the partitioning of Apep10 in the membrane lipids. The liposomes constructed from bacterial membrane lipid were more suitable as the model membranes used to study dynamic ABP/membrane interactions than those constructed from specific ratios of particular phospholipids, with its more biomimetic phospholipid composition and contents. This study provides an appropriate model for the evaluation of ABP-membrane interactions. PMID:28052090

  12. Lipid unsaturation per se does not explain the physical state of mitochondrial membranes in Mytilus galloprovincialis. (United States)

    Fiorini, Rosamaria; Pagliarani, Alessandra; Nesci, Salvatore; Trombetti, Fabiana; Pirini, Maurizio; Fabbri, Micaela; Ventrella, Vittoria


    Through a multiple approach, the present study on the mitochondrial membranes from mussel gills and swine heart combines some biochemical information on fatty acid composition, sterol pattern, and temperature dependence of the F1FO-ATPase activity (EC with fluorescence data on mitochondrial membranes and on liposomes obtained from lipid extracts of mitochondria. The physical state of mussel gills and swine heart was investigated by Laurdan steady state fluorescence. Quite surprisingly, the similar temperature dependence of the F1FO complex, illustrated as Arrhenius plot which in both mitochondria exhibits the same discontinuity at approximately 21°C and overlapping activation energies above and below the discontinuity, is apparently compatible with a different composition and physical state of mitochondrial membranes. Accordingly, mussel membranes contain highly unsaturated fatty acids, abundant sterols, including phytosterols, while mammalian membranes only contain cholesterol and in prevalence shorter and less unsaturated fatty acids, leading to a lower membrane unsaturation with respect to mussel mitochondria. As suggested by fluorescence data, the likely formation of peculiar microdomains interacting with the membrane-bound enzyme complex in mussel mitochondria could produce an environment which somehow approaches the physical state of mammalian mitochondrial membranes. Thus, as an adaptive strategy, the interaction between sterols, highly unsaturated phospholipids and proteins in mussel gill mitochondria could allow the F1FO-ATPase activity to maintain the same activation energy as the mammalian enzyme.

  13. Barriers to the free diffusion of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane. (United States)

    Trimble, William S; Grinstein, Sergio


    Biological membranes segregate into specialized functional domains of distinct composition, which can persist for the entire life of the cell. How separation of their lipid and (glyco)protein components is generated and maintained is not well understood, but the existence of diffusional barriers has been proposed. Remarkably, the physical nature of such barriers and the manner whereby they impede the free diffusion of molecules in the plane of the membrane has rarely been studied in depth. Moreover, alternative mechanisms capable of generating membrane inhomogeneity are often disregarded. Here we describe prototypical biological systems where membrane segregation has been amply documented and discuss the role of diffusional barriers and other processes in the generation and maintenance of their structural and functional compartmentalization.

  14. Roles played by acidic lipids in HIV-1 Gag membrane binding. (United States)

    Olety, Balaji; Ono, Akira


    The MA domain mediates plasma membrane (PM) targeting of HIV-1 Gag, leading to particle assembly at the PM. The interaction between MA and acidic phospholipids, in addition to N-terminal myristoyl moiety, promotes Gag binding to lipid membranes. Among acidic phospholipids, PI(4,5)P2, a PM-specific phosphoinositide, is essential for proper HIV-1 Gag localization to the PM and efficient virus particle production. Recent studies further revealed that MA-bound RNA negatively regulates HIV-1 Gag membrane binding and that PI(4,5)P2 is necessary to overcome this RNA-imposed block. In this review, we will summarize the current understanding of Gag-membrane interactions and discuss potential roles played by acidic phospholipids.

  15. The effect of desiccation on viability and membrane lipid composition of Acer pseudoplatanus seeds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanisława Pukacka


    Full Text Available The viability of desiccation-intolerant sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L. seeds during desiccation was investigated by tetrazolium and by a germinability test, together with membrane permeability and membrane phospholipid composition. Loss of viability was associated with an increase of solute leakage, reduced content of all phospholipid groups, decrease of unsaturated fatty acids and the unsaturated/saturated fatty acids ratio. Growth of malondialdehyde content was also observed. Some results were compared with those for tolerant to desiccation Norway maple (Acer platanoides L. seeds. The results indicate active participation of membranes in the desiccation process in tolerant seeds and their decomposition in intolerant ones. The destruction of membranes was the result of lipid peroxidation, probably due to the free radical effect.

  16. Effects of cis- and trans-unsaturated lipids on an interdigitated membrane. (United States)

    Smith, Eric A; Smith, Connor; Tanksley, Brian; Dea, Phoebe K


    The effects of adding cis- and trans-unsaturated lipid to a fully interdigitated membrane were examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction. A monofluorinated analog of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) was used as the interdigitated lipid. The single fluorine atom on the end of the sn-2 chain allows 1-palmitoyl-2-(16-fluoropalmitoyl)sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (F-DPPC) to spontaneously form the interdigitated gel phase (LβI) below the main transition temperature (Tm). The cis 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and equivalent trans lipid 1,2-dielaidoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DEPC) are strongly disfavored to form the LβI phase. Wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) data demonstrate that the unsaturated lipids progressively disrupt the intermolecular packing at higher concentrations. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data show that as the ratio of unsaturated lipid increases, the amount of interdigitated lipid decreases. The cis isomer is more disruptive and inhibits interdigitation more effectively than the trans isomer.

  17. The small molecule fenpropimorph rapidly converts chloroplast membrane lipids to triacylglycerols in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (United States)

    Kim, Hanul; Jang, Sunghoon; Kim, Sangwoo; Yamaoka, Yasuyo; Hong, Daewoong; Song, Won-Yong; Nishida, Ikuo; Li-Beisson, Yonghua; Lee, Youngsook


    Concern about global warming has prompted an intense interest in developing economical methods of producing biofuels. Microalgae provide a promising platform for biofuel production, because they accumulate high levels of lipids, and do not compete with food or feed sources. However, current methods of producing algal oil involve subjecting the microalgae to stress conditions, such as nitrogen deprivation, and are prohibitively expensive. Here, we report that the fungicide fenpropimorph rapidly causes high levels of neutral lipids to accumulate in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells. When treated with fenpropimorph (10 μg mL-1) for 1 h, Chlamydomonas cells accumulated at least fourfold the amount of triacylglycerols (TAGs) present in the untreated control cells. Furthermore, the quantity of TAGs present after 1 h of fenpropimorph treatment was over twofold higher than that formed after 9 days of nitrogen starvation in medium with no acetate supplement. Biochemical analysis of lipids revealed that the accumulated TAGs were derived mainly from chloroplast polar membrane lipids. Such a conversion of chloroplast polar lipids to TAGs is desirable for biodiesel production, because polar lipids are usually removed during the biodiesel production process. Thus, our data exemplified that a cost and time effective method of producing TAGs is possible using fenpropimorph or similar drugs. PMID:25759683

  18. Regulation of anionic lipids in binary membrane upon the adsorption of polyelectrolyte: A Monte Carlo simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaozheng Duan


    Full Text Available We employ Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the interaction between an adsorbing linear flexible cationic polyelectrolyte and a binary fluid membrane. The membrane contains neutral phosphatidyl–choline, PC and multivalent anionic (phosphatidylinositol, PIP2 lipids. We systematically study the influences of the solution ionic strength, the chain length and the bead charge density of the polyelectrolyte on the lateral rearrangement and the restricted mobility of the multivalent anionic lipids in the membrane. Our findings show that, the cooperativity effect and the electrostatic interaction of the polyelectrolyte beads can significantly affect the segregation extent and the concentration gradients of the PIP2 molecules, and further cooperate to induce the complicated hierarchical mobility behaviors of PIP2 molecules. In addition, when the polyelectrolyte brings a large amount of charges, it can form a robust electrostatic well to trap all PIP2 and results in local overcharge of the membrane. This work presents a mechanism to explain the membrane heterogeneity formation induced by the adsorption of charged macromolecule.

  19. Microchemical device based on microscopic bilayer lipid membranes; Bisho 2 bunshimaku wo mochiiita maikuro kagaku debaisu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yokoyama, H. [Electrotechnical Lab., Ibaraki (Japan)


    If an organism is regarded as a macromolecular system, the element device to construct the same is the molecular structure of nano meter scale formed by the functional protein existing in biomembranes. A lot of essential functions of organism such as the sense reception including vision, gustation, etc., photosynthesis, energy-substance production and so on are performed therein. In this paper, the structure, preparing process and the functions of the microchemical device using micro-bilipid membranes are described. The simulation of the sense receiving functions of organisms is tried by said microchemical device wherein, same as biomembranes, the base is bilayer lipid molecular membrane and the receptive protein for receiving signals from exterior and output molecules such as ion channels connected to said receptive protein and the like are incorporated in the membranes. Recently, it becomes possible to make a partial imaging of the bilayer lipid membranes fixed on porous membrane by the observation with scanning Maxwell-stress microscope. 4 refs., 3 figs.

  20. Effect of Receptor Structure and Length on the Wrapping of a Nanoparticle by a Lipid Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haizhen Zhang


    Full Text Available Nanoparticles have been considered as a type of powerful tool to deliver drugs and genes into cells for disease diagnosis and therapies. It has been generally accepted that the internalization of nanoparticles into cells is mostly realized by receptor-mediated endocytosis. However, for the influence of structural factors of receptors on endocytosis, this is still largely unknown. In this paper, computer simulations are applied to investigate the effects of structure (i.e., the number of constituent chains of the receptor and the length of the receptor on the wrapping behavior of nanoparticles by the lipid membrane, which is a key step of receptor-medicated endocytosis. It is found that these structural factors of receptors have strong effects on the nanoparticle’s final interaction configuration with the membrane in the simulations, such as adhering on the membrane surface or being partly or fully wrapped by the membrane. Furthermore, in some cases, the rupture of the lipid membrane occurs. These results are helpful for the understanding of endocytosis and the preparation of advanced nanoscale drug-delivery vectors.

  1. Capsaicin Fluidifies the Membrane and Localizes Itself near the Lipid-Water Interface. (United States)

    Torrecillas, Alejandro; Schneider, Monika; Fernández-Martínez, Ana M; Ausili, Alessio; de Godos, Ana M; Corbalán-García, Senena; Gómez-Fernández, Juan C


    Capsaicin is the chemical responsible for making some peppers spicy hot, but additionally it is used as a pharmaceutical to alleviate different pain conditions. Capsaicin binds to the vanilloid receptor TRPV1, which plays a role in coordinating chemical and physical painful stimuli. A number of reports have also shown that capsaicin inserts in membranes and its capacity to modify them may be part of its molecular mode of action, affecting the activity of other membrane proteins. We have used differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, (31)P NMR, and (2)H NMR spectroscopy to show that capsaicin increases the fluidity and disorder of 1,2-palmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine membrane models. By using (1)H NOESY MAS NMR based on proton-proton cross-peaks between capsaicin and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine resonances, we determined the location profile of this molecule in a fluid membrane concluding that it occupies the upper part of the phospholipid monolayer, between the lipid-water interface and the double bond of the acyl chain in position sn-2. This location explains the disorganization of the membrane of both the lipid-water interface and the hydrophobic palisade.

  2. The influence of the lipid-protein interaction on the membrane dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Natali, F.; Relini, A.; Gliozzi, A.; Rolandi, R.; Cavatorta, P.; Deriu, A.; Fasano, A.; Riccio, P


    We have performed an incoherent neutron scattering investigation of the modification of dynamical properties of model membrane induced by the addition of the myelin basic proteins. Elastic (ENS) and quasi-elastic (QENS) neutron scattering experiments revealed that the addition of physiological amounts of MBP induces a change in the average proton membrane dynamics across the lipid gel to liquid-crystalline phase transition. In particular, the appearance of anisotropic motion has been observed at two different time scales (accessible with IN13 and IN16 high-energy resolution backscattering spectrometers at ILL, Grenoble)

  3. The influence of the lipid-protein interaction on the membrane dynamics (United States)

    Natali, F.; Relini, A.; Gliozzi, A.; Rolandi, R.; Cavatorta, P.; Deriu, A.; Fasano, A.; Riccio, P.


    We have performed an incoherent neutron scattering investigation of the modification of dynamical properties of model membrane induced by the addition of the myelin basic proteins. Elastic (ENS) and quasi-elastic (QENS) neutron scattering experiments revealed that the addition of physiological amounts of MBP induces a change in the average proton membrane dynamics across the lipid gel to liquid-crystalline phase transition. In particular, the appearance of anisotropic motion has been observed at two different time scales (accessible with IN13 and IN16 high-energy resolution backscattering spectrometers at ILL, Grenoble).

  4. The distribution of lipid attached spin probes in bilayers: application to membrane protein topology. (United States)

    Vogel, Alexander; Scheidt, Holger A; Huster, Daniel


    The distribution of the lipid-attached doxyl electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin label in 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine membranes has been studied by (1)H and (13)C magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation measurements. The doxyl spin label was covalently attached to the 5th, 10th, and 16th carbons of the sn-2 stearic acid chain of a 1-palmitoyl-2-stearoyl-(5/10/16-doxyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine analog. Due to the unpaired electron of the spin label, (1)H and (13)C lipid relaxation rates are enhanced by paramagnetic relaxation. For all lipid segments the influence of paramagnetic relaxation is observed even at low probe concentrations. Paramagnetic relaxation rates provide a measure for the interaction strength between lipid segments and the doxyl group. Plotted along the membrane director a transverse distribution profile of the EPR probe is obtained. The chain-attached spin labels are broadly distributed in the membrane with a maximum at the approximate chain position of the probe. Both (1)H and (13)C relaxation measurements show these broad distributions of the doxyl group in the membrane indicating that (1)H spin diffusion does not influence the relaxation measurements. The broad distributions of the EPR label result from the high degree of mobility and structural heterogeneity in liquid-crystalline membranes. Knowing the distribution profiles of the EPR probes, their influence on relaxation behavior of membrane inserted peptide and protein segments can be studied by (13)C magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance. As an example, the location of Ala residues positioned at three sites of the transmembrane WALP-16 peptide was investigated. All three doxyl-labeled phospholipid analogs induce paramagnetic relaxation of the respective Ala site. However, for well ordered secondary structures the strongest relaxation enhancement is observed for that doxyl group in the closest proximity to the respective Ala. Thus

  5. Interactions between mycoplasma lipid-associated membrane proteins and the host cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YOU Xiao-xing; ZENG Yan-hua; WU Yi-mou


    Mycoplamas are a group of wall-less prokaryotes widely distributed in nature, some of which are pathogenic for humans and animals. There are many lipoproteins anchored on the outer face of the plasma membrane, called lipid-associated membrane proteins (LAMPs). LAMPs are highly antigenic and could undergo phase and size variation, and are recognized by the innate immune system through Toll-like receptors (TLR) 2 and 6. LAMPs can modulate the immune system, and could induce immune cells apoptosis or death. In addition, they may associate with malignant transformation of host cells and are also considered to be cofactors in the progression of AIDS.

  6. C2 domain of synaptotagminⅠassociates with lipid rafts of plasma membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    L(U) JiHua; HE Li; SUI SenFang


    In this paper we report that the C2 domain of synaptotagmin I (syt I) could associate with lipid rafts of plasma membrane. We demonstrate that phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) in the target membrane and Ca2+ are the key factors to enhance the raft association of the C2 domain. We also found that the raft association of the C2 domain could be fulfilled by either C2A or C2B alone, suggesting that their raft association might be complementary. Finally, we indicate that destroying lipid rafts or blocking syt I-raft association could significantly reduce the Ca2+-driven release of glutamates. Our data indicate that the raft association of the C2 domain might play an important role in the regulated exocytosis.

  7. Lipid-insertion enables targeting functionalization of erythrocyte membrane-cloaked nanoparticles (United States)

    Fang, Ronnie H.; Hu, Che-Ming J.; Chen, Kevin N. H.; Luk, Brian T.; Carpenter, Cody W.; Gao, Weiwei; Li, Shulin; Zhang, Dong-Er; Lu, Weiyue; Zhang, Liangfang


    RBC membrane-cloaked polymeric nanoparticles represent an emerging nanocarrier platform with extended circulation in vivo. A lipid-insertion method is employed to functionalize these nanoparticles without the need for direct chemical conjugation. Insertion of both folate and the nucleolin-targeting aptamer AS1411 shows receptor-specific targeting against model cancer cell lines.RBC membrane-cloaked polymeric nanoparticles represent an emerging nanocarrier platform with extended circulation in vivo. A lipid-insertion method is employed to functionalize these nanoparticles without the need for direct chemical conjugation. Insertion of both folate and the nucleolin-targeting aptamer AS1411 shows receptor-specific targeting against model cancer cell lines. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr03064d

  8. Glucosylation of membrane-bound proteins by lipid-linked glucose. (United States)

    Pont Lezica, R; Romero, P A; Hopp, H E


    Particulate preparations from Pisum sativum. were able to incorporate [(14)C]glucose from UDP-[(14)C]glucose into oligosaccharide-linked lipids was formed by an oligosaccharide chain containing 7-8 glucose residues linked to dolichol, presumably via a pyrophosphate. The polymer was identified as a membrane-bound glucoprotein that could be solubilized by Triton X-100. SDS gel electrophoresis showed that a polypeptide with an apparent molecular weight of 13,000 could be glucosylated from dolichyl-phosphate-glucose. This was coincident with the electrophoretic mobility of the β subunit of the pea lectin in the same system. The glucosylated protein was solubilized from the membranes by sonication and showed the same carbohydrate-binding ability as pea lectins. These results strongly suggest that pea lectins can be glucosylated by the lipid intermediate pathway.

  9. Molecular dynamics simulations of the interactions of medicinal plant extracts and drugs with lipid bilayer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kopec, Wojciech; Telenius, Jelena; Khandelia, Himanshu


    Several small drugs and medicinal plant extracts, such as the Indian spice extract curcumin, have a wide range of useful pharmacological properties that cannot be ascribed to binding to a single protein target alone. The lipid bilayer membrane is thought to mediate the effects of many...... studies of the interactions of drugs and plant extracts are therefore of interest. Molecular dynamics simulations, which can access time and length scales that are not simultaneously accessible by other experimental methods, are often used to obtain quantitative molecular and thermodynamic descriptions...... such molecules directly via perturbation of the plasma membrane structure and dynamics, or indirectly by modulating transmembrane protein conformational equilibria. Furthermore, for bioavailability, drugs must interact with and eventually permeate the lipid bilayer barrier on the surface of cells. Biophysical...

  10. Interaction of the human N-Ras protein with lipid raft model membranes of varying degrees of complexity. (United States)

    Vogel, Alexander; Nikolaus, Jörg; Weise, Katrin; Triola, Gemma; Waldmann, Herbert; Winter, Roland; Herrmann, Andreas; Huster, Daniel


    Ternary lipid mixtures composed of cholesterol, saturated (frequently with sphingosine backbone), and unsaturated phospholipids show stable phase separation and are often used as model systems of lipid rafts. Yet, their ability to reproduce raft properties and function is still debated. We investigated the properties and functional aspects of three lipid raft model systems of varying degrees of biological relevance--PSM/POPC/Chol, DPPC/POPC/Chol, and DPPC/DOPC/Chol--using 2H solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. While some minor differences were observed, the general behavior and properties of all three model mixtures were similar to previously investigated influenza envelope lipid membranes, which closely mimic the lipid composition of biological membranes. For the investigation of the functional aspects, we employed the human N-Ras protein, which is posttranslationally modified by two lipid modifications that anchor the protein to the membrane. It was previously shown that N-Ras preferentially resides in liquid-disordered domains and exhibits a time-dependent accumulation in the domain boundaries of influenza envelope lipid membranes. For all three model mixtures, we observed the same membrane partitioning behavior for N-Ras. Therefore, we conclude that even relatively simple models of raft membranes are able to reproduce many of their specific properties and functions.

  11. Protein-membrane interaction: effect of myelin basic protein on the dynamics of oriented lipids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Natali, F.; Relini, A.; Gliozzi, A.; Rolandi, R.; Cavatorta, P.; Deriu, A.; Fasano, A.; Riccio, P


    We have studied the effect of physiological amounts of myelin basic protein (MBP) on pure dimyristoyl L-{alpha}-phosphatidic acid (DMPA) oriented membranes. The investigation has been carried out using several complementary experimental methods to provide a detailed characterization of the proteo-lipid complexes. In particular, taking advantage of the power of the quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) technique as optimal probe in biology, a significant effect is suggested to be induced by MBP on the anisotropy of lipid dynamics across the liquid-gel phase transition. Thus, the enhancement of the spatially restricted, vertical translation motion of DMPA is suggested to be the main responsible for the increased contribution of the out of plane lipid dynamics observed at 340 K.

  12. Protein membrane interaction: effect of myelin basic protein on the dynamics of oriented lipids (United States)

    Natali, F.; Relini, A.; Gliozzi, A.; Rolandi, R.; Cavatorta, P.; Deriu, A.; Fasano, A.; Riccio, P.


    We have studied the effect of physiological amounts of myelin basic protein (MBP) on pure dimyristoyl L-α-phosphatidic acid (DMPA) oriented membranes. The investigation has been carried out using several complementary experimental methods to provide a detailed characterization of the proteo-lipid complexes. In particular, taking advantage of the power of the quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) technique as optimal probe in biology, a significant effect is suggested to be induced by MBP on the anisotropy of lipid dynamics across the liquid-gel phase transition. Thus, the enhancement of the spatially restricted, vertical translation motion of DMPA is suggested to be the main responsible for the increased contribution of the out of plane lipid dynamics observed at 340 K.

  13. The insertion and transport of anandamide in synthetic lipid membranes are both cholesterol-dependent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Di Pasquale

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Anandamide is a lipid neurotransmitter which belongs to a class of molecules termed the endocannabinoids involved in multiple physiological functions. Anandamide is readily taken up into cells, but there is considerable controversy as to the nature of this transport process (passive diffusion through the lipid bilayer vs. involvement of putative proteic transporters. This issue is of major importance since anandamide transport through the plasma membrane is crucial for its biological activity and intracellular degradation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the involvement of cholesterol in membrane uptake and transport of anandamide. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Molecular modeling simulations suggested that anandamide can adopt a shape that is remarkably complementary to cholesterol. Physicochemical studies showed that in the nanomolar concentration range, anandamide strongly interacted with cholesterol monolayers at the air-water interface. The specificity of this interaction was assessed by: i the lack of activity of structurally related unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid and arachidonic acid at 50 nM on cholesterol monolayers, and ii the weak insertion of anandamide into phosphatidylcholine or sphingomyelin monolayers. In agreement with these data, the presence of cholesterol in reconstituted planar lipid bilayers triggered the stable insertion of anandamide detected as an increase in bilayer capacitance. Kinetics transport studies showed that pure phosphatidylcholine bilayers were weakly permeable to anandamide. The incorporation of cholesterol in phosphatidylcholine bilayers dose-dependently stimulated the translocation of anandamide. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate that cholesterol stimulates both the insertion of anandamide into synthetic lipid monolayers and bilayers, and its transport across bilayer membranes. In this respect, we suggest that besides putative anandamide protein

  14. Fluorescence lifetime imaging of membrane lipid order with a ratiometric fluorescent probe. (United States)

    Kilin, Vasyl; Glushonkov, Oleksandr; Herdly, Lucas; Klymchenko, Andrey; Richert, Ludovic; Mely, Yves


    To monitor the lateral segregation of lipids into liquid-ordered (Lo) and -disordered (Ld) phases in lipid membranes, environment-sensitive dyes that partition in both phases but stain them differently have been developed. Of particular interest is the dual-color F2N12S probe, which can discriminate the two phases through the ratio of its two emission bands. These bands are associated with the normal (N(∗)) and tautomer (T(∗)) excited-state species that result from an excited-state intramolecular proton transfer. In this work, we investigated the potency of the time-resolved fluorescence parameters of F2N12S to discriminate lipid phases in model and cell membranes. Both the long and mean lifetime values of the T(∗) form of F2N12S were found to differ by twofold between Ld and Lo phases as a result of the restriction in the relative motions of the two aromatic moieties of F2N12S imposed by the highly packed Lo phase. This differed from the changes in the ratio of the two emission bands between the two phases, which mainly resulted from the decreased hydration of the N(∗) form in the Lo phase. Importantly, the strong difference in lifetimes between the two phases was preserved when cholesterol was added to the Ld phase. The two phases could be imaged with high contrast by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) on giant unilamellar vesicles. FLIM images of F2N12S-labeled live HeLa cells confirmed that the plasma membrane was mainly in the Lo-like phase. Furthermore, the two phases were found to be homogeneously distributed all over the plasma membrane, indicating that they are highly mixed at the spatiotemporal resolution of the FLIM setup. Finally, FLIM could also be used to sensitively monitor the change in lipid phase upon cholesterol depletion and apoptosis.

  15. Lipid composition determines the effects of arbutin on the stability of membranes.


    Hincha, D K; Oliver, A E; Crowe, J H


    Arbutin (hydroquinone-beta-D-glucopyranoside) is an abundant solute in the leaves of many freezing- or desiccation-tolerant plants. Its physiological role in plants, however, is not known. Here we show that arbutin protects isolated spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) thylakoid membranes from freeze-thaw damage. During freezing of liposomes, the presence of only 20 mM arbutin led to complete leakage of a soluble marker from egg PC (EPC) liposomes. When the nonbilayer-forming chloroplast lipid mono...

  16. The Effect of Lidocaine · HCl on the Fluidity of Native and Model Membrane Lipid Bilayers


    Park, Jun-Seop; Jung, Tae-Sang; Noh, Yang-Ho; Kim, Woo-Sung; Park, Won-Ick; Kim, Young-Soo; Chung, In-Kyo; Sohn, Uy Dong; Bae, Soo-Kyung; Bae, Moon-Kyoung; Jang, Hye-Ock; Yun, Il


    The purpose of this study is to investigated the mechanism of pharmacological action of local anesthetic and provide the basic information about the development of new effective local anesthetics. Fluorescent probe techniques were used to evaluate the effect of lidocaine·HCl on the physical properties (transbilayer asymmetric lateral and rotational mobility, annular lipid fluidity and protein distribution) of synaptosomal plasma membrane vesicles (SPMV) isolated from bovine cerebral cortex, a...

  17. Mitochondrial DNA damage associated with lipid peroxidation of the mitochondrial membrane induced by Fe2+-citrate



    Iron imbalance/accumulation has been implicated in oxidative injury associated with many degenerative diseases such as hereditary hemochromatosis, beta-thalassemia, and Friedreich's ataxia. Mitochondria are particularly sensitive to iron-induced oxidative stress - high loads of iron cause extensive lipid peroxidation and membrane permeabilization in isolated mitochondria. Here we detected and characterized mitochondrial DNA damage in isolated rat liver mitochondria exposed to a Fe2+-citrate c...

  18. Communication: Contrasting effects of glycerol and DMSO on lipid membrane surface hydration dynamics and forces


    Schrader, Alex M.; Cheng, Chi-Yuan; Israelachvili, Jacob N.; Han, Songi


    Glycerol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) are commonly used cryoprotectants in cellular systems, but due to the challenges of measuring the properties of surface-bound solvent, fundamental questions remain regarding the concentration, interactions, and conformation of these solutes at lipid membrane surfaces. We measured the surface water diffusivity at gel-phase dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) bilayer surfaces in aqueous solutions containing ≤7.5 mol. % of DMSO or glycerol using Overhause...

  19. Distinguishing bicontinuous lipid cubic phases from isotropic membrane morphologies using (31)P solid-state NMR spectroscopy. (United States)

    Yang, Yu; Yao, Hongwei; Hong, Mei


    Nonlamellar lipid membranes are frequently induced by proteins that fuse, bend, and cut membranes. Understanding the mechanism of action of these proteins requires the elucidation of the membrane morphologies that they induce. While hexagonal phases and lamellar phases are readily identified by their characteristic solid-state NMR line shapes, bicontinuous lipid cubic phases are more difficult to discern, since the static NMR spectra of cubic-phase lipids consist of an isotropic (31)P or (2)H peak, indistinguishable from the spectra of isotropic membrane morphologies such as micelles and small vesicles. To date, small-angle X-ray scattering is the only method to identify bicontinuous lipid cubic phases. To explore unique NMR signatures of lipid cubic phases, we first describe the orientation distribution of lipid molecules in cubic phases and simulate the static (31)P chemical shift line shapes of oriented cubic-phase membranes in the limit of slow lateral diffusion. We then show that (31)P T2 relaxation times differ significantly between isotropic micelles and cubic-phase membranes: the latter exhibit 2 orders of magnitude shorter T2 relaxation times. These differences are explained by the different time scales of lipid lateral diffusion on the cubic-phase surface versus the time scales of micelle tumbling. Using this relaxation NMR approach, we investigated a DOPE membrane containing the transmembrane domain (TMD) of a viral fusion protein. The static (31)P spectrum of DOPE shows an isotropic peak, whose T2 relaxation times correspond to that of a cubic phase. Thus, the viral fusion protein TMD induces negative Gaussian curvature, which is an intrinsic characteristic of cubic phases, to the DOPE membrane. This curvature induction has important implications to the mechanism of virus-cell fusion. This study establishes a simple NMR diagnostic probe of lipid cubic phases, which is expected to be useful for studying many protein-induced membrane remodeling phenomena

  20. Study of the ion-channel behavior on glassy carbon electrode supported bilayer lipid membranes stimulated by perchlorate anion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Zhiquan; Shi, Jun; Huang, Weimin, E-mail:


    In this paper, a kind of didodecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB) layer membranes was supported on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE). We studied the ion channel behavior of the supported bilayer lipid membrane by scanning electrochemical microscopy (SCEM) in tris(2,2′-bipyridine) ruthenium(II) solution. Perchlorate anion was used as a presence of stimulus and ruthenium(II) complex cations as the probing ions for the measurement of SECM, the lipid membrane channel was opened and exhibited the behavior of distinct SECM positive feedback curve. The channel was in a closed state in the absence of perchlorate anions while reflected the behavior of SECM negative feedback curve. The rates of electron transfer reaction in the lipid membranes surface were detected and it was dependant on the potential of SECM. - Highlights: • The rates of electron transfer reaction in the lipid membranes surface were detected. • Dynamic investigations of ion-channel behavior of supported bilayer lipid membranes by scanning electrochemical microscopy • A novel way to explore the interaction between molecules and supported bilayer lipid membranes.

  1. The ELBA force field for coarse-grain modeling of lipid membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Orsi

    Full Text Available A new coarse-grain model for molecular dynamics simulation of lipid membranes is presented. Following a simple and conventional approach, lipid molecules are modeled by spherical sites, each representing a group of several atoms. In contrast to common coarse-grain methods, two original (interdependent features are here adopted. First, the main electrostatics are modeled explicitly by charges and dipoles, which interact realistically through a relative dielectric constant of unity (ε(r = 1. Second, water molecules are represented individually through a new parametrization of the simple Stockmayer potential for polar fluids; each water molecule is therefore described by a single spherical site embedded with a point dipole. The force field is shown to accurately reproduce the main physical properties of single-species phospholipid bilayers comprising dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC and dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE in the liquid crystal phase, as well as distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC in the liquid crystal and gel phases. Insights are presented into fundamental properties and phenomena that can be difficult or impossible to study with alternative computational or experimental methods. For example, we investigate the internal pressure distribution, dipole potential, lipid diffusion, and spontaneous self-assembly. Simulations lasting up to 1.5 microseconds were conducted for systems of different sizes (128, 512 and 1058 lipids; this also allowed us to identify size-dependent artifacts that are expected to affect membrane simulations in general. Future extensions and applications are discussed, particularly in relation to the methodology's inherent multiscale capabilities.

  2. Membrane lipid rafts, master regulators of hematopoietic stem cell retention in bone marrow and their trafficking. (United States)

    Ratajczak, M Z; Adamiak, M


    Cell outer membranes contain glycosphingolipids and protein receptors, which are integrated into glycoprotein microdomains, known as lipid rafts, which float freely in the membrane bilayer. These structures have an important role in assembling signaling molecules (e.g., Rac-1, RhoH and Lyn) together with surface receptors, such as the CXCR4 receptor for α-chemokine stromal-derived factor-1, the α4β1-integrin receptor (VLA-4) for vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and the c-kit receptor for stem cell factor, which together regulate several aspects of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) biology. Here, we discuss the role of lipid raft integrity in the retention and quiescence of normal HSPCs in bone marrow niches as well as in regulating HSPC mobilization and homing. We will also discuss the pathological consequences of the defect in lipid raft integrity seen in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and the emerging evidence for the involvement of lipid rafts in hematological malignancies.

  3. Effects of phloretin on lipid organization in the erythrocyte membrane as measured by EPR (United States)

    Abumrad, Nada A.; Perkins, Ray C.; Dalton, Larry R.; Park, Charles R.; Park, Jane H.

    Phloretin is a lipophilic compound which has been widely studied as a broad spectrum effector of metabolite transport in red blood cells (RBC). Phloretin effects on the organization of lipids in the RBC membrane are investigated using the spin-labeled fatty acids, 5 and 16-nitroxyl stearate (5-NS and 16-NS, respectively). Phloretin at different concentrations produced biphasic effects on the lineshape of the EPR response from 16-NS-labeled RBC. The dependence of these changes on the flat cell orientation with respect to the magnetic field suggested that phloretin promoted lipid order at low concentrations (5 to 40 μ M) and disorder at high concentrations (40 to 250 μ M). The biphasic effects of phloretin occurred at concentrations which parallel its dual actions on metabolite transfer. Phloretin generally inhibits transport (protein-mediated) and stimulates diffusion (lipid-mediated) processes. The spectroscopic effects were best characterized through second-harmonic, in-phase detection. The possible contribution of other factors to the spectroscopic changes is discussed. When RBC were spin labeled with 5-NS, higher concentrations of the probe were required for adequate detection and only monophasic effects of phoretin were observed. The results suggest that membrane lipids are important in phloretin effects on transport and diffusion processes.

  4. Lipids and glycosphingolipids in caveolae and surrounding plasma membrane of primary rat adipocytes. (United States)

    Ortegren, Unn; Karlsson, Margareta; Blazic, Natascha; Blomqvist, Maria; Nystrom, Fredrik H; Gustavsson, Johanna; Fredman, Pam; Strålfors, Peter


    We have made a comprehensive and quantitative analysis of the lipid composition of caveolae from primary rat fat cells and compared the composition of plasma membrane inside and outside caveolae. We isolated caveolae from purified plasma membranes using ultrasonication in carbonate buffer to disrupt the membrane, or extraction with nonionic detergent, followed by density gradient ultracentrifugation. The carbonate-isolated caveolae fraction was further immunopurified using caveolin antibodies. Carbonate-isolated caveolae were enriched in cholesterol and sphingomyelin, and the concentration was three- and twofold higher, respectively, in caveolae compared to the surrounding plasma membrane. The concentration of glycerophospholipids was similar suggesting that glycerophospholipids constitute a constant core throughout the plasma membrane. The composition of detergent-insoluble fractions of the plasma membrane was very variable between preparations, but strongly enriched in sphingomyelin and depleted of glycerophospholipids compared to carbonate-isolated caveolae; indicating that detergent extraction is not a suitable technique for caveolae preparation. An average adipocyte caveola contained about 22 x 10(3) molecules of cholesterol, 7.5 x 10(3) of sphingomyelin and 23 x 10(3) of glycerophospholipid. The glycosphingolipid GD3 was highly enriched in caveolae, whereas GM3, GM1 and GD1a were present inside as well as outside the caveolae membrane. GD1b, GT1b, GM2, GQ1b, sulfatide and lactosylceramide sulfate were not detected in caveolae.

  5. Chemically-activatable alkyne-tagged probe for imaging microdomains in lipid bilayer membranes (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Matsushita, Taku; Izuta, Shin; Katada, Sumika; Ura, Manami; Ikeda, Taro; Hayashi, Gosuke; Suzuki, Yuta; Kobayashi, Koya; Tokunaga, Kyoya; Ozeki, Yasuyuki; Okamoto, Akimitsu


    A chemically-activatable alkynyl steroid analogue probe has been synthesized for visualizing the lipid raft membrane domains by Raman microscopy. The Raman probe, in which ring A of its steroid backbone is replaced with an alkynyl group, was designed to enable activation of the alkyne signal through the Eschenmoser-Tanabe fragmentation reaction of the oxidized cholesterol precursor in lipid bilayer membranes. The alkynyl steroid analogue was observed to form liquid-ordered raft-like domains on a model giant-liposome system in a similar manner as cholesterol, and the large alkyne signal of the accumulated probe at 2120 cm−1 was mapped on the microdomains with a Raman microscope. The alkyne moiety of the probe was confirmed to be converted from the α,β-epoxy ketone group of its precursor by reaction with p-toluensulfonyl hydrazine under a mild condition. Through the reaction, the alkyne signal of the probe was activated on the lipid bilayer membrane of liposomes. Furthermore, the signal activation of the probe was also detected on living cells by stimulated Raman scattering microscopy. The ring-A-opened alkyne steroid analogue, thus, provides a first chemically-activatable Raman probe as a promising tool for potentially unravelling the intracellular formation and trafficking of cholesterol-rich microdomains. PMID:28117375

  6. Revisiting Plant Plasma Membrane Lipids in Tobacco: A Focus on Sphingolipids. (United States)

    Cacas, Jean-Luc; Buré, Corinne; Grosjean, Kevin; Gerbeau-Pissot, Patricia; Lherminier, Jeannine; Rombouts, Yoann; Maes, Emmanuel; Bossard, Claire; Gronnier, Julien; Furt, Fabienne; Fouillen, Laetitia; Germain, Véronique; Bayer, Emmanuelle; Cluzet, Stéphanie; Robert, Franck; Schmitter, Jean-Marie; Deleu, Magali; Lins, Laurence; Simon-Plas, Françoise; Mongrand, Sébastien


    The lipid composition of plasma membrane (PM) and the corresponding detergent-insoluble membrane (DIM) fraction were analyzed with a specific focus on highly polar sphingolipids, so-called glycosyl inositol phosphorylceramides (GIPCs). Using tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) 'Bright Yellow 2' cell suspension and leaves, evidence is provided that GIPCs represent up to 40 mol % of the PM lipids. Comparative analysis of DIMs with the PM showed an enrichment of 2-hydroxylated very-long-chain fatty acid-containing GIPCs and polyglycosylated GIPCs in the DIMs. Purified antibodies raised against these GIPCs were further used for immunogold-electron microscopy strategy, revealing the distribution of polyglycosylated GIPCs in domains of 35 ± 7 nm in the plane of the PM. Biophysical studies also showed strong interactions between GIPCs and sterols and suggested a role for very-long-chain fatty acids in the interdigitation between the two PM-composing monolayers. The ins and outs of lipid asymmetry, raft formation, and interdigitation in plant membrane biology are finally discussed.

  7. Critical composition fluctuations in artificial and cell-derived lipid membranes (United States)

    Honerkamp-Smith, Aurelia


    Cell plasma membranes contain a mixture of lipid types which can segregate into coexisting liquids, a thermodynamic phenomenon which may contribute to biological functions. Simplified, artificial three-component lipid vesicles can be prepared which display a critical miscibility transition near room temperature. We found that such vesicles exhibit concentration fluctuations whose size, composition, and timescales vary consistently with critical exponents for two-dimensional conserved order parameter systems. However, the critical miscibility transition is also observed in vesicles formed directly from the membranes of living cells, despite their more complex composition and the presence of membrane proteins. I will describe our critical fluctuation measurements and also review a variety of more recent work by other researchers. Proximity to a critical point alters the spatial distribution and aggregation tendencies of proteins, and makes lipid mixtures more susceptible to domain formation by protein-mediated interactions, such as adhesion zones. Recent work suggests that critical temperature depression may also be relevant to the mechanism of anaesthetic action.

  8. Interactions of a bacterial trehalose lipid with phosphatidylglycerol membranes at low ionic strength. (United States)

    Teruel, José A; Ortiz, Antonio; Aranda, Francisco J


    Trehalose lipids are bacterial biosurfactants which present interesting physicochemical and biological properties. These glycolipids have a number of different commercial applications and there is an increasing interest in their use as therapeutic agents. The amphiphilic nature of trehalose lipids points to the membrane as their hypothetical site of action and therefore the study of the interaction between these biosurfactants and biological membranes is critical. In this study, we examine the interactions between a trehalose lipid (TL) from Rhodococcus sp. and dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG) membranes at low ionic strength, by means of differential scanning calorimetry, light scattering, fluorescence polarization and infrared spectroscopy. We describe that there are extensive interactions between TL and DMPG involving the perturbation of the thermotropic intermediate phase of the phospholipid, the destabilization and shifting of the DMPG gel to liquid crystalline phase transition to lower temperatures, the perturbation of the sample transparency, and the modification of the order of the phospholipid palisade in the gel phase. We also report an increase of fluidity of the phosphatidylglycerol acyl chains and dehydration of the interfacial region of the bilayer. These changes would increase the monolayer negative spontaneous curvature of the phospholipid explaining the destabilizing effect on the intermediate state exerted by this biosurfactant. The observations contribute to get insight into the biological mechanism of action of the biosurfactant and help to understand the properties of the intermediate phase display by DMPG at low ionic strength.

  9. Membrane lipids protected from oxidation by red wine tannins: a proton NMR study. (United States)

    Furlan, Aurélien L; Jobin, Marie-Lise; Buchoux, Sébastien; Grélard, Axelle; Dufourc, Erick J; Géan, Julie


    Dietary polyphenols widespread in vegetables and beverages like red wine and tea have been reported to possess antioxidant properties that could have positive effects on human health. In this study, we propose a new in situ and non-invasive method based on proton liquid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to determine the antioxidant efficiency of red wine tannins on a twice-unsaturated phospholipid, 1,2-dilinoleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLiPC), embedded in a membrane model. Four tannins were studied: (+)-catechin (C), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). The lipid degradation kinetics was determined by measuring the loss of the bis-allylic protons during oxidation induced by a radical initiator, 2,2'-Azobis(2-methylpropionamidine) dihydrochloride (AAPH). The antioxidant efficiency, i.e. the ability of tannins to slow down the lipid oxidation rate, was shown to be higher for galloylated tannins, ECG and EGCG. Furthermore, the mixture of four tannins was more efficient than the most effective tannin, EGCG, demonstrating a synergistic effect. To better understand the antioxidant action mechanism of polyphenols on lipid membranes, the tannin location was investigated by NMR and molecular dynamics. A correlation between antioxidant action of tannins and their location at the membrane interface (inserted at the glycerol backbone level) could thus be established.

  10. Fluorescent molecular probes based on excited state prototropism in lipid bilayer membrane (United States)

    Mohapatra, Monalisa; Mishra, Ashok K.


    Excited state prototropism (ESPT) is observed in molecules having one or more ionizable protons, whose proton transfer efficiency is different in ground and excited states. The interaction of various ESPT molecules like naphthols and intramolecular ESPT (ESIPT) molecules like hydroxyflavones etc. with different microheterogeneous media have been studied in detail and excited state prototropism as a probe concept has been gaining ground. The fluorescence of different prototropic forms of such molecules, on partitioning to an organized medium like lipid bilayer membrane, often show sensitive response to the local environment with respect to the local structure, physical properties and dynamics. Our recent work using 1-naphthol as an ESPT fluorescent molecular probe has shown that the incorporation of monomeric bile salt molecules into lipid bilayer membranes composed from dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC, a lung surfactant) and dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), in solid gel and liquid crystalline phases, induce appreciable wetting of the bilayer up to the hydrocarbon core region, even at very low (fisetin, an ESIPT molecule having antioxidant properties, in lipid bilayer membrane has been sensitively monitored from its intrinsic fluorescence behaviour.

  11. Investigation of lipid membrane macro- and micro-structure using calorimetry and computer simulation: structural and functional relationships

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kent; Mouritsen, Ole G.


    The lipid bilayer part of biological membranes is a complex lipid mixture displaying cooperative phenomena. By means of differential scanning calorimetry and computer simulation techniques, the equilibrium and non-equilibrium properties of the large assembly of mutually interacting amphiphilic...... lipid molecules constituting the lipid bilayer have been investigated. The cooperative many-particle lipid bilayer behavior is manifested in terms of phase transitions and large-scale macroscopic phase equilibria. On a smaller nanometer length-scale, equilibrium structural and compositional fluctuations...... and proteins. (C) 1999 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved....

  12. Inhibition of HIV-1 endocytosis allows lipid mixing at the plasma membrane, but not complete fusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de la Vega Michelle


    Full Text Available Abstract Background We recently provided evidence that HIV-1 enters HeLa-derived TZM-bl and lymphoid CEMss cells by fusing with endosomes, whereas its fusion with the plasma membrane does not proceed beyond the lipid mixing step. The mechanism of restriction of HIV-1 fusion at the cell surface and/or the factors that aid the virus entry from endosomes remain unclear. Results We examined HIV-1 fusion with a panel of target cells lines and with primary CD4+ T cells. Kinetic measurements of fusion combined with time-resolved imaging of single viruses further reinforced the notion that HIV-1 enters the cells via endocytosis and fusion with endosomes. Furthermore, we attempted to deliberately redirect virus fusion to the plasma membrane, using two experimental strategies. First, the fusion reaction was synchronized by pre-incubating the viruses with cells at reduced temperature to allow CD4 and coreceptors engagement, but not the virus uptake or fusion. Subsequent shift to a physiological temperature triggered accelerated virus uptake followed by entry from endosomes, but did not permit fusion at the cell surface. Second, blocking HIV-1 endocytosis by a small-molecule dynamin inhibitor, dynasore, resulted in transfer of viral lipids to the plasma membrane without any detectable release of the viral content into the cytosol. We also found that a higher concentration of dynasore is required to block the HIV-endosome fusion compared to virus internalization. Conclusions Our results further support the notion that HIV-1 enters disparate cell types through fusion with endosomes. The block of HIV-1 fusion with the plasma membrane at a post-lipid mixing stage shows that this membrane is not conducive to fusion pore formation and/or enlargement. The ability of dynasore to interfere with the virus-endosome fusion suggests that dynamin could be involved in two distinct steps of HIV-1 entry - endocytosis and fusion within intracellular compartments.

  13. The role of membrane thickness in charged protein-lipid interactions. (United States)

    Li, Libo B; Vorobyov, Igor; Allen, Toby W


    Charged amino acids are known to be important in controlling the actions of integral and peripheral membrane proteins and cell disrupting peptides. Atomistic molecular dynamics studies have shed much light on the mechanisms of membrane binding and translocation of charged protein groups, yet the impact of the full diversity of membrane physico-chemical properties and topologies has yet to be explored. Here we have performed a systematic study of an arginine (Arg) side chain analog moving across saturated phosphatidylcholine (PC) bilayers of variable hydrocarbon tail length from 10 to 18 carbons. For all bilayers we observe similar ion-induced defects, where Arg draws water molecules and lipid head groups into the bilayers to avoid large dehydration energy costs. The free energy profiles all exhibit sharp climbs with increasing penetration into the hydrocarbon core, with predictable shifts between bilayers of different thickness, leading to barrier reduction from 26 kcal/mol for 18 carbons to 6 kcal/mol for 10 carbons. For lipids of 10 and 12 carbons we observe narrow transmembrane pores and corresponding plateaus in the free energy profiles. Allowing for movements of the protein and side chain snorkeling, we argue that the energetic cost for burying Arg inside a thin bilayer will be small, consistent with recent experiments, also leading to a dramatic reduction in pK(a) shifts for Arg. We provide evidence that Arg translocation occurs via an ion-induced defect mechanism, except in thick bilayers (of at least 18 carbons) where solubility-diffusion becomes energetically favored. Our findings shed light on the mechanisms of ion movement through membranes of varying composition, with implications for a range of charged protein-lipid interactions and the actions of cell-perturbing peptides. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane protein structure and function.

  14. Lipid composition of pea (Pisum sativum L. and maize (Zea mays L. root plasma membrane and membrane-bound peroxidase and superoxide dismutase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kukavica Biljana


    Full Text Available Plasma membrane was isolated from roots of pea and maize plants and used to analyze POD and SOD isoforms, as well as lipid composition. Among lipids, phospholipids were the main lipid class, with phosphatidylcho­line being the most abundant individual component in both pea and maize plasma membranes. Significant differences between the two plant species were found in the contents of cerebrosides, free sterols, and steryl glycosides. Most maize POD isoforms were with neutral and anionic pI values, but the opposite was observed in pea. While both anionic and cationic SOD isoforms were isolated from maize, only two anionic SOD isoforms were detected in pea.

  15. Monitoring lipid anchor organization in cell membranes by PIE-FCCS. (United States)

    Triffo, Sara B; Huang, Hector H; Smith, Adam W; Chou, Eldon T; Groves, Jay T


    This study examines the dynamic co-localization of lipid-anchored fluorescent proteins in living cells using pulsed-interleaved excitation fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (PIE-FCCS) and fluorescence lifetime analysis. Specifically, we look at the pairwise co-localization of anchors from lymphocyte cell kinase (LCK: myristoyl, palmitoyl, palmitoyl), RhoA (geranylgeranyl), and K-Ras (farnesyl) proteins in different cell types. In Jurkat cells, a density-dependent increase in cross-correlation among RhoA anchors is observed, while LCK anchors exhibit a more moderate increase and broader distribution. No correlation was detected among K-Ras anchors or between any of the different anchor types studied. Fluorescence lifetime data reveal no significant Förster resonance energy transfer in any of the data. In COS 7 cells, minimal correlation was detected among LCK or RhoA anchors. Taken together, these observations suggest that some lipid anchors take part in anchor-specific co-clustering with other existing clusters of native proteins and lipids in the membrane. Importantly, these observations do not support a simple interpretation of lipid anchor-mediated organization driven by partitioning based on binary lipid phase separation.

  16. [Effects of allelochemical EMA isolated from Phragmites communis on algal cell membrane lipid and ultrastructure]. (United States)

    Li, Feng-min; Hu, Hong-ying; Chong, Yun-xiao; Men, Yu-jie; Guo, Mei-ting


    In order to reveal the antialgal mechanisms of allelochemicals, effects of the allelochemical eathyl-2-methyl acetoacetate (EMA) on cell membrane lipid and ultrastructure of Chlorella pyrenoidosa, Microcystis aeruginosa and Chlorella vulagaris were studied in this paper. The lipid fatty acids of the algal membrane were isolated following the Bligh and Dye method and quantified by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry. The ultrastructure of algal cells was observed with TEM. The results showed that EMA increased the contents of linolenic acid and linolic acid with increment of 14%, while decreased the content of myristic acid and cetylic acid in C. pyrenoidosa, membrane. The content of unsaturated fatty acids C18:1 and C18:2 increased 12% and 10% in M. aeruginosa with the addition of EMA, while the content of saturated fatty acids C18:0 and C16:0 decreased. EMA showed no significant change in the fatty acid composition in C. vulagaris under the experiment condition. EMA broke off cell wall of C. pyrenoidosa and M. aeruginosa. EMA damaged the cell membrane and the inclusion of algal cell leaked out. Nuclear and mitochondrial structure was damaged with the addition of EMA. EMA showed no significant change in the ultrastructure of C. vulgaris.

  17. Voltage-sensitive styryl dyes as singlet oxygen targets on the surface of bilayer lipid membrane. (United States)

    Sokolov, V S; Gavrilchik, A N; Kulagina, A O; Meshkov, I N; Pohl, P; Gorbunova, Yu G


    Photosensitizers are widely used as photodynamic therapeutic agents killing cancer cells by photooxidation of their components. Development of new effective photosensitive molecules requires profound knowledge of possible targets for reactive oxygen species, especially for its singlet form. Here we studied photooxidation of voltage-sensitive styryl dyes (di-4-ANEPPS, di-8-ANEPPS, RH-421 and RH-237) by singlet oxygen on the surface of bilayer lipid membranes commonly used as cell membrane models. Oxidation was induced by irradiation of a photosensitizer (aluminum phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate) and monitored by the change of dipole potential on the surface of the membrane. We studied the drop of the dipole potential both in the case when the dye molecules were adsorbed on the same side of the lipid bilayer as the photosensitizer (cis-configuration) and in the case when they were adsorbed on the opposite side (trans-configuration). Based on a simple model, we determined the rate of oxidation of the dyes from the kinetics of change of the potential during and after irradiation. This rate is proportional to steady-state concentration of singlet oxygen in the membrane under irradiation. Comparison of the oxidation rates of various dyes reveals that compounds of ANEPPS series are more sensitive to singlet oxygen than RH type dyes, indicating that naphthalene group is primarily responsible for their oxidation.

  18. Modeling the effect of nano-sized polymer particles on the properties of lipid membranes (United States)

    Rossi, Giulia; Monticelli, Luca


    The interaction between polymers and biological membranes has recently gained significant interest in several research areas. On the biomedical side, dendrimers, linear polyelectrolytes, and neutral copolymers find application as drug and gene delivery agents, as biocidal agents, and as platforms for biological sensors. On the environmental side, plastic debris is often disposed of in the oceans and gets degraded into small particles; therefore concern is raising about the interaction of small plastic particles with living organisms. From both perspectives, it is crucial to understand the processes driving the interaction between polymers and cell membranes. In recent times progress in computer technology and simulation methods has allowed computational predictions on the molecular mechanism of interaction between polymeric materials and lipid membranes. Here we review the computational studies on the interaction between lipid membranes and different classes of polymers: dendrimers, linear charged polymers, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and its derivatives, polystyrene, and some generic models of polymer chains. We conclude by discussing some of the technical challenges in this area and future developments.

  19. Crystallizing membrane proteins for structure-function studies using lipidic mesophases. (United States)

    Caffrey, Martin


    The lipidic cubic phase method for crystallizing membrane proteins has posted some high-profile successes recently. This is especially true in the area of G-protein-coupled receptors, with six new crystallographic structures emerging in the last 3½ years. Slowly, it is becoming an accepted method with a proven record and convincing generality. However, it is not a method that is used in every membrane structural biology laboratory and that is unfortunate. The reluctance in adopting it is attributable, in part, to the anticipated difficulties associated with handling the sticky viscous cubic mesophase in which crystals grow. Harvesting and collecting diffraction data with the mesophase-grown crystals is also viewed with some trepidation. It is acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method. However, over the years, we have worked to make the method user-friendly. To this end, tools for handling the mesophase in the pico- to nano-litre volume range have been developed for efficient crystallization screening in manual and robotic modes. Glass crystallization plates have been built that provide unparalleled optical quality and sensitivity to nascent crystals. Lipid and precipitant screens have been implemented for a more rational approach to crystallogenesis, such that the method can now be applied to a wide variety of membrane protein types and sizes. In the present article, these assorted advances are outlined, along with a summary of the membrane proteins that have yielded to the method. The challenges that must be overcome to develop the method further are described.

  20. Liposomal nanocontainers as models for viral infection: monitoring viral genomic RNA transfer through lipid membranes. (United States)

    Bilek, Gerhard; Matscheko, Nena M; Pickl-Herk, Angela; Weiss, Victor U; Subirats, Xavier; Kenndler, Ernst; Blaas, Dieter


    After uptake into target cells, many nonenveloped viruses undergo conformational changes in the low-pH environment of the endocytic compartment. This results in exposure of amphipathic viral peptides and/or hydrophobic protein domains that are inserted into and either disrupt or perforate the vesicular membranes. The viral nucleic acids thereby gain access to the cytosol and initiate replication. We here demonstrate the in vitro transfer of the single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome of human rhinovirus 2 into liposomes decorated with recombinant very-low-density lipoprotein receptor fragments. Membrane-attached virions were exposed to pH 5.4, mimicking the in vivo pH environment of late endosomes. This triggered the release of the RNA whose arrival in the liposomal lumen was detected via in situ cDNA synthesis by encapsulated reverse transcriptase. Subsequently, cDNA was PCR amplified. At a low ratio between virions and lipids, RNA transfer was positively correlated with virus concentration. However, membranes became leaky at higher virus concentrations, which resulted in decreased cDNA synthesis. In accordance with earlier in vivo data, the RNA passes through the lipid membrane without causing gross damage to vesicles at physiologically relevant virus concentrations.

  1. Cholesterol as a factor regulating the influence of natural (PAF and lysoPAF) vs synthetic (ED) ether lipids on model lipid membranes. (United States)

    Flasiński, Michał; Wydro, Paweł; Hąc-Wydro, Katarzyna; Dynarowicz-Łątka, Patrycja


    In this work we have performed a comparative study on the effect of antineoplastic ether lipid-edelfosine (ED), its natural analogs - Platelet Activating Factor (PAF) and its precursor (lyso-PAF), both lacking anticancer properties, on cholesterol/phosphatidylcholine (Chol/PC) monolayers, serving as model membranes. Since all the above ether lipids are membrane active, it can be expected that their effect on membranes may differentiate their biological activity. Our investigations were aimed at studying potential relationship of the effect of ED, PAF and lyso-PAF on model membranes, differing in condensation. We have modified molecular packing of Chol/PC model systems either by increasing the level of sterol in the system or changing the structure of PC, while keeping the same sterol content. Additionally, we have performed a detailed comparison of the miscibility of ED, PAF and lyso-PAF with various membrane lipids. The collected data evidenced that all the investigated ether lipids influence Chol/PC films in the same way; however, in a different magnitude. Moreover, the interactions of ED, PAF and lyso-PAF with model membranes were the strongest at the highest level of sterol in the system. A thorough analysis of the obtained results has proved that the effect of the investigated ether lipids on membranes is not dependent on the condensation of the system, but it is strongly determined by the concentration of cholesterol. Since ED was found to interact with model membranes stronger than PAF and lyso-PAF, we have suggested that this fact may contribute to differences in cytotoxicity of these compounds.

  2. Proton Gradients as a Key Physical Factor in the Evolution of the Forced Transport Mechanism Across the Lipid Membrane (United States)

    Strbak, Oliver; Kanuchova, Zuzana; Krafcik, Andrej


    A critical phase in the transition from prebiotic chemistry to biological evolution was apparently an asymmetric ion flow across the lipid membrane. Due to imbalance in the ion flow, the early lipid vesicles could selectively take the necessary molecules from the environment, and release the side-products from the vesicle. Natural proton gradients played a definitively crucial role in this process, since they remain the basis of energy transfer in the present-day cells. On the basis of this supposition, and the premise of the early vesicle membrane's impermeability to protons, we have shown that the emergence of the proton gradient in the lipid vesicle could be a key physical factor in the evolution of the forced transport mechanism (pore formation and active transport) across the lipid bilayer. This driven flow of protons across the membrane is the result of the electrochemical proton gradient and osmotic pressures on the integrity of the lipid vesicle. At a critical number of new lipid molecules incorporated into the vesicle, the energies associated with the creation of the proton gradient exceed the bending stiffness of the lipid membrane, and overlap the free energy of the lipid bilayer pore formation.

  3. Area per lipid and cholesterol interactions in membranes from separated local-field (13)C NMR spectroscopy. (United States)

    Leftin, Avigdor; Molugu, Trivikram R; Job, Constantin; Beyer, Klaus; Brown, Michael F


    Investigations of lipid membranes using NMR spectroscopy generally require isotopic labeling, often precluding structural studies of complex lipid systems. Solid-state (13)C magic-angle spinning NMR spectroscopy at natural isotopic abundance gives site-specific structural information that can aid in the characterization of complex biomembranes. Using the separated local-field experiment DROSS, we resolved (13)C-(1)H residual dipolar couplings that were interpreted with a statistical mean-torque model. Liquid-disordered and liquid-ordered phases were characterized according to membrane thickness and average cross-sectional area per lipid. Knowledge of such structural parameters is vital for molecular dynamics simulations, and provides information about the balance of forces in membrane lipid bilayers. Experiments were conducted with both phosphatidylcholine (dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC)) and egg-yolk sphingomyelin (EYSM) lipids, and allowed us to extract segmental order parameters from the (13)C-(1)H residual dipolar couplings. Order parameters were used to calculate membrane structural quantities, including the area per lipid and bilayer thickness. Relative to POPC, EYSM is more ordered in the ld phase and experiences less structural perturbation upon adding 50% cholesterol to form the lo phase. The loss of configurational entropy is smaller for EYSM than for POPC, thus favoring its interaction with cholesterol in raftlike lipid systems. Our studies show that solid-state (13)C NMR spectroscopy is applicable to investigations of complex lipids and makes it possible to obtain structural parameters for biomembrane systems where isotope labeling may be prohibitive.

  4. Forty five years with membrane phospholipids, phospholipases and lipid mediators: A historical perspective. (United States)

    Chap, Hugues


    Phospholipases play a key role in the metabolism of phospholipids and in cell signaling. They are also a very useful tool to explore phospholipid structure and metabolism as well as membrane organization. They are at the center of this review, covering a period starting in 1971 and focused on a number of subjects in which my colleagues and I have been involved. Those include determination of phospholipid asymmetry in the blood platelet membrane, biosynthesis of lysophosphatidic acid, biochemistry of platelet-activating factor, first attempts to define the role of phosphoinositides in cell signaling, and identification of novel digestive (phospho)lipases such as pancreatic lipase-related protein 2 (PLRP2) or phospholipase B. Besides recalling some of our contributions to those various fields, this review makes an appraisal of the impressive and often unexpected evolution of those various aspects of membrane phospholipids and lipid mediators. It is also the occasion to propose some new working hypotheses.

  5. The influence of anesthetics, neurotransmitters and antibiotics on the relaxation processes in lipid membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Seeger, H M; Heimburg, T; Gudmundsson, Marie L.; Heimburg, Thomas; Seeger, Heiko M.


    In the proximity of melting transitions of artificial and biological membranes fluctuations in enthalpy, area, volume and concentration are enhanced. This results in domain formation, changes of the elastic constants, changes in permeability and slowing down of relaxation processes. In this study we used pressure perturbation calorimetry to investigate the relaxation time scale after a jump into the melting transition regime of artificial lipid membranes. This time corresponds to the characteristic rate of domain growth. The studies were performed on single-component large unilamellar and multilamellar vesicle systems with and without the addition of small molecules such as general anesthetics, neurotransmitters and antibiotics. These drugs interact with membranes and affect melting points and profiles. In all systems we found that heat capacity and relaxation times are related to each other in a simple manner. The maximum relaxation time depends on the cooperativity of the heat capacity profile and decreases...

  6. DSC investigation of the effect of the new sigma ligand PPCC on DMPC lipid membrane. (United States)

    Sarpietro, Maria Grazia; Accolla, Maria Lorena; Cova, Annamaria; Prezzavento, Orazio; Castelli, Francesco; Ronsisvalle, Simone


    The new sigma ligand cis-(±)-methyl (1R,2S/1S,2R)-2-[(4-hydroxy-4-phenylpiperidin-1-yl) methyl]-1-(4-methylphenyl) cyclopropanecarboxylate [(±)-PPCC] is a promising tool for the treatment of various diseases. With the aim to investigate the absorption of (±)-PPCC by the cell membranes, in this study we evaluated the influence on thermotropic behavior of membrane model exerted by PPCC both as free base or as oxalic salt. To fulfill this purpose differential scanning calorimetry was used. The findings highlight that PPCC affects the thermodynamic parameters of phospholipids in different manner depending on whether it is in the salt or base form as well as function of the amount of drugs dispersed in the lipid matrix. The salt form of PPCC was uptaken by the membrane model faster than the free base. In addition, preliminary information on the use of a lipophilic carrier for PPCC was obtained.

  7. 3D Pressure Field in Lipid Membranes and Membrane-Protein Complexes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ollila, O. H. Samuli; Risselada, H. Jelger; Louhivuori, Martti; Lindahl, Erik; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Marrink, Siewert J.


    We calculate full 3D pressure fields for inhomogeneous nanoscale systems using molecular dynamics simulation data. The fields represent systems with increasing level of complexity, ranging from semivesicles and vesicles to membranes characterized by coexistence of two phases, including also a protei

  8. High-throughput crystallization of membrane proteins using the lipidic bicelle method. (United States)

    Ujwal, Rachna; Abramson, Jeff


    Membrane proteins (MPs) play a critical role in many physiological processes such as pumping specific molecules across the otherwise impermeable membrane bilayer that surrounds all cells and organelles. Alterations in the function of MPs result in many human diseases and disorders; thus, an intricate understanding of their structures remains a critical objective for biological research. However, structure determination of MPs remains a significant challenge often stemming from their hydrophobicity. MPs have substantial hydrophobic regions embedded within the bilayer. Detergents are frequently used to solubilize these proteins from the bilayer generating a protein-detergent micelle that can then be manipulated in a similar manner as soluble proteins. Traditionally, crystallization trials proceed using a protein-detergent mixture, but they often resist crystallization or produce crystals of poor quality. These problems arise due to the detergent's inability to adequately mimic the bilayer resulting in poor stability and heterogeneity. In addition, the detergent shields the hydrophobic surface of the MP reducing the surface area available for crystal contacts. To circumvent these drawbacks MPs can be crystallized in lipidic media, which more closely simulates their endogenous environment, and has recently become a de novo technique for MP crystallization. Lipidic cubic phase (LCP) is a three-dimensional lipid bilayer penetrated by an interconnected system of aqueous channels. Although monoolein is the lipid of choice, related lipids such as monopalmitolein and monovaccenin have also been used to make LCP. MPs are incorporated into the LCP where they diffuse in three dimensions and feed crystal nuclei. A great advantage of the LCP is that the protein remains in a more native environment, but the method has a number of technical disadvantages including high viscosity (requiring specialized apparatuses) and difficulties in crystal visualization and manipulation. Because

  9. The role of blood cell membrane lipids on the mode of action of HIV-1 fusion inhibitor sifuvirtide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matos, Pedro M.; Freitas, Teresa; Castanho, Miguel A.R.B. [Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisbon, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa (Portugal); Santos, Nuno C., E-mail: [Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisbon, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa (Portugal)


    Research highlights: {yields} Sifuvirtide interacts with erythrocyte and lymphocyte membrane in a concentration dependent manner by decreasing its dipole potential. {yields} Dipole potential variations in lipid vesicles show sifuvirtide's lipid selectivity towards saturated phosphatidylcholines. {yields} This peptide-membrane interaction may direct the drug towards raft-like membrane domains where the receptors used by HIV are located, facilitating its inhibitory action. -- Abstract: Sifuvirtide is a gp41 based peptide that inhibits HIV-1 fusion with the host cells and is currently under clinical trials. Previous studies showed that sifuvirtide partitions preferably to saturated phosphatidylcholine lipid membranes, instead of fluid-phase lipid vesicles. We extended the study to the interaction of the peptide with circulating blood cells, by using the dipole potential sensitive probe di-8-ANEPPS. Sifuvirtide decreased the dipole potential of erythrocyte and lymphocyte membranes in a concentration dependent manner, demonstrating its interaction. Also, the lipid selectivity of the peptide towards more rigid phosphatidylcholines was confirmed based on the dipole potential variations. Overall, the interaction of the peptide with the cell membranes is a contribution of different lipid preferences that presumably directs the peptide towards raft-like domains where the receptors are located, facilitating the reach of the peptide to its molecular target, the gp41 in its pre-fusion conformation.

  10. The lipid composition of Legionella dumoffii membrane modulates the interaction with Galleria mellonella apolipophorin III. (United States)

    Palusińska-Szysz, Marta; Zdybicka-Barabas, Agnieszka; Reszczyńska, Emilia; Luchowski, Rafał; Kania, Magdalena; Gisch, Nicolas; Waldow, Franziska; Mak, Paweł; Danikiewicz, Witold; Gruszecki, Wiesław I; Cytryńska, Małgorzata


    Apolipophorin III (apoLp-III), an insect homologue of human apolipoprotein E (apoE), is a widely used model protein in studies on protein-lipid interactions, and anti-Legionella activity of Galleria mellonella apoLp-III has been documented. Interestingly, exogenous choline-cultured Legionella dumoffii cells are considerably more susceptible to apoLp-III than non-supplemented bacteria. In order to explain these differences, we performed, for the first time, a detailed analysis of L. dumoffii lipids and a comparative lipidomic analysis of membranes of bacteria grown without and in the presence of exogenous choline. (31)P NMR analysis of L. dumoffii phospholipids (PLs) revealed a considerable increase in the phosphatidylcholine (PC) content in bacteria cultured on choline medium and a decrease in the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) content in approximately the same range. The interactions of G. mellonella apoLp-III with lipid bilayer membranes prepared from PLs extracted from non- and choline-supplemented L. dumoffii cells were examined in detail by means of attenuated total reflection- and linear dichroism-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Furthermore, the kinetics of apoLp-III binding to liposomes formed from L. dumoffii PLs was analysed by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy using fluorescently labelled G. mellonella apoLp-III. Our results indicated enhanced binding of apoLp-III to and deeper penetration into lipid membranes formed from PLs extracted from the choline-supplemented bacteria, i.e. characterized by an increased PC/PE ratio. This could explain, at least in part, the higher susceptibility of choline-cultured L. dumoffii to G. mellonella apoLp-III.

  11. Investigations on membrane perturbation by chrysin and its copper complex using self-assembled lipid bilayers. (United States)

    Selvaraj, Stalin; Krishnaswamy, Sridharan; Devashya, Venkappayya; Sethuraman, Swaminathan; Krishnan, Uma Maheswari


    The mechanism of membrane interactions of most of the flavonoids in the presence of transition-metal ions is not well-understood. To understand this phenomenon, the present work aims to synthesize a chrysin-copper complex at room temperature and investigate its influence on the electrical characteristics of planar lipid bilayers. The chrysin-copper complex was characterized by various spectroscopic techniques and was found to have a metal/ligand ratio of 1:2 and of cationic nature. Its ability to inhibit 1,1'-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals was not significant at alkaline pH because of the involvement of the 5-hydroxy group in coordination with the copper ion compared to its parent flavonoid, chrysin (p copper complex to lipid bilayers decreases the resistance, indicating a strong surface interaction and partial insertion into the bilayer near the lipid-water interface. The dose-dependent reduction in resistance as a result of the chrysin-copper complex is more pronounced in comparison to chrysin, implying that the bulkier and charged chrysin-copper complex displays greater ability to distort the lipid bilayer architecture. These conclusions were further confirmed by curcumin-loaded liposome permeabilization studies, where both chrysin and its Cu(II) complex increased the fluidity in a dose-dependent manner. However, the extent of fluidization by the chrysin-copper complex was nearly twice that of chrysin alone (p copper complex on cell membranes were studied using a hypotonic hemolysis assay. Our results demonstrate that, at low concentrations (20 μM), the chrysin-copper complex exhibited twice the protection against hypotonic stress-induced membrane disruption when compared to chrysin. However, this stabilizing effect gradually decreased and became comparable to chrysin at higher concentrations. This biphasic behavior of the chrysin-copper complex could further be explored for therapeutic applications.

  12. Lipid domains in intact fiber-cell plasma membranes isolated from cortical and nuclear regions of human eye lenses of donors from different age groups. (United States)

    Raguz, Marija; Mainali, Laxman; O'Brien, William J; Subczynski, Witold K


    The results reported here clearly document changes in the properties and the organization of fiber-cell membrane lipids that occur with age, based on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analysis of lens membranes of clear lenses from donors of age groups from 0 to 20, 21 to 40, and 61 to 80 years. The physical properties, including profiles of the alkyl chain order, fluidity, hydrophobicity, and oxygen transport parameter, were investigated using EPR spin-labeling methods, which also provide an opportunity to discriminate coexisting lipid domains and to evaluate the relative amounts of lipids in these domains. Fiber-cell membranes were found to contain three distinct lipid environments: bulk lipid domain, which appears minimally affected by membrane proteins, and two domains that appear due to the presence of membrane proteins, namely boundary and trapped lipid domains. In nuclear membranes the amount of boundary and trapped phospholipids as well as the amount of cholesterol in trapped lipid domains increased with the donors' age and was greater than that in cortical membranes. The difference between the amounts of lipids in domains uniquely formed due to the presence of membrane proteins in nuclear and cortical membranes increased with the donors' age. It was also shown that cholesterol was to a large degree excluded from trapped lipid domains in cortical membranes. It is evident that the rigidity of nuclear membranes was greater than that of cortical membranes for all age groups. The amount of lipids in domains of low oxygen permeability, mainly in trapped lipid domains, were greater in nuclear than cortical membranes and increased with the age of donors. These results indicate that the nuclear fiber cell plasma membranes were less permeable to oxygen than cortical membranes and become less permeable to oxygen with age. In clear lenses, age-related changes in the lens lipid and protein composition and organization appear to occur in ways that increase fiber

  13. Fluidization of membrane lipids enhances the tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to freezing and salt stress. (United States)

    Rodríguez-Vargas, Sonia; Sánchez-García, Alicia; Martínez-Rivas, Jose Manuel; Prieto, Jose Antonio; Randez-Gil, Francisca


    Unsaturated fatty acids play an essential role in the biophysical characteristics of cell membranes and determine the proper function of membrane-attached proteins. Thus, the ability of cells to alter the degree of unsaturation in their membranes is an important factor in cellular acclimatization to environmental conditions. Many eukaryotic organisms can synthesize dienoic fatty acids, but Saccharomyces cerevisiae can introduce only a single double bond at the Delta(9) position. We expressed two sunflower (Helianthus annuus) oleate Delta(12) desaturases encoded by FAD2-1 and FAD2-3 in yeast cells of the wild-type W303-1A strain (trp1) and analyzed their effects on growth and stress tolerance. Production of the heterologous desaturases increased the content of dienoic fatty acids, especially 18:2Delta(9,12), the unsaturation index, and the fluidity of the yeast membrane. The total fatty acid content remained constant, and the level of monounsaturated fatty acids decreased. Growth at 15 degrees C was reduced in the FAD2 strains, probably due to tryptophan auxotrophy, since the trp1 (TRP1) transformants that produced the sunflower desaturases grew as well as the control strain did. Our results suggest that changes in the fluidity of the lipid bilayer affect tryptophan uptake and/or the correct targeting of tryptophan transporters. The expression of the sunflower desaturases, in either Trp(+) or Trp(-) strains, increased NaCl tolerance. Production of dienoic fatty acids increased the tolerance to freezing of wild-type cells preincubated at 30 degrees C or 15 degrees C. Thus, membrane fluidity is an essential determinant of stress resistance in S. cerevisiae, and engineering of membrane lipids has the potential to be a useful tool of increasing the tolerance to freezing in industrial strains.

  14. Interactions of amiodarone with model membranes and amiodarone-photoinduced peroxidation of lipids. (United States)

    Sautereau, A M; Tournaire, C; Suares, M; Tocanne, J F; Paillous, N


    The potent antiarrhythmic drug, amiodarone (AMIO) exhibits phototoxicity, which is thought to be related to its interaction with biological membranes. We report here a spectroscopic study of the interactions of this drug with phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) liposomes used as membrane model systems. A linear increase in absorbance at 300 nm was observed with increasing addition of AMIO to dimyristoyl-DL-PC (DMPC) liposomes over all the drugs-lipid molar ratio (Ri)s tested. In contrast, in the dimyristoyl-DL-PG (DMPG) liposomes, there was a dramatic increase in absorbance at values of Ri above unity. Light scattering by DMPG liposomes at 350 nm increased with increasing AMIO concentration up to a Ri = 1, and then decreased with increasing drug concentration. Such changes were not observed with the DMPC liposomes. Moreover, addition of AMIO changed the fluorescence polarization rate of 1,6-diphenyl 1,3,5-hexatriene embedded in these liposomes. It reduced the rate below the phase transition temperature (Tt) of the lipid, but increased it above this temperature. These effects on the lipidic phases observed at low Ri were more pronounced on the DMPG than on the DMPC liposomes. The strong interactions of AMIO with phospholipids, especially the acidic ones, were confirmed by liposome size determinations. All these data strongly suggest that the drug was incorporated in the core of the lipid bilayers. Such a penetration would favor a drug-photoinduced peroxidation of lipids. Indeed, UV irradiation of AMIO-DOPG mixtures led to the disappearance of the unsaturated fatty acids of phospholipids, checked by gas chromatography measurements, which was correlated with the amount of oxygen consumed. This showed that AMIO did photosensitize phospholipid peroxidation.

  15. Unspecific membrane protein-lipid recognition: combination of AFM imaging, force spectroscopy, DSC and FRET measurements. (United States)

    Borrell, Jordi H; Montero, M Teresa; Morros, Antoni; Domènech, Òscar


    In this work, we will describe in quantitative terms the unspecific recognition between lactose permease (LacY) of Escherichia coli, a polytopic model membrane protein, and one of the main components of the inner membrane of this bacterium. Supported lipid bilayers of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG) (3:1, mol/mol) in the presence of Ca(2+) display lateral phase segregation that can be distinguished by atomic force microscopy (AFM) as well as force spectroscopy. LacY shows preference for fluid (Lα) phases when it is reconstituted in POPE : POPG (3:1, mol/mol) proteoliposomes at a lipid-to-protein ratio of 40. When the lipid-to-protein ratio is decreased down to 0.5, two domains can be distinguished by AFM. While the upper domain is formed by self-segregated units of LacY, the lower domain is constituted only by phospholipids in gel (Lβ) phase. On the one hand, classical differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements evidenced the segregation of a population of phospholipids and point to the existence of a boundary region at the lipid-protein interface. On the other hand, Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) measurements in solution evidenced that POPE is selectively recognized by LacY. A binary pseudophase diagram of POPE : POPG built from AFM observations enables to calculate the composition of the fluid phase where LacY is inserted. These results are consistent with a model where POPE constitutes the main component of the lipid-LacY interface segregated from the fluid bulk phase where POPG predominates.

  16. Membrane order parameters for interdigitated lipid bilayers measured via polarized total-internal-reflection fluorescence microscopy. (United States)

    Ngo, An T; Jakubek, Zygmunt J; Lu, Zhengfang; Joós, Béla; Morris, Catherine E; Johnston, Linda J


    Incorporating ethanol in lipid membranes leads to changes in bilayer structure, including the formation of an interdigitated phase. We have used polarized total-internal-reflection fluorescence microscopy (pTIRFM) to measure the order parameter for Texas Red DHPE incorporated in the ethanol-induced interdigitated phase (LβI) formed from ternary lipid mixtures comprising dioleoylphosphatidylcholine, cholesterol and egg sphingomyelin or dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine. These lipid mixtures have 3 co-existing phases in the presence of ethanol: liquid-ordered, liquid-disordered and LβI. pTIRFM using Texas Red DHPE shows a reversal in fluorescence contrast between the LβI phase and the surrounding disordered phase with changes in the polarization angle. The contrast reversal is due to changes in the orientation of the dye, and provides a rapid method to identify the LβI phase. The measured order parameters for the LβI phase are consistent with a highly ordered membrane environment, similar to a gel phase. An acyl-chain labeled BODIPY-FL-PC was also tested for pTIRFM studies of ethanol-treated bilayers; however, this probe is less useful since the order parameters of the interdigitated phase are consistent with orientations that are close to random, either due to local membrane disorder or to a mixture of extended and looping conformations in which the fluorophore is localized in the polar headgroup region of the bilayer. In summary, we demonstrate that order parameter measurements via pTIRFM using Texas Red-DHPE can rapidly identify the interdigitated phase in supported bilayers. We anticipate that this technique will aid further research in the effects of alcohols and other additives on membranes.

  17. Oxidation of Membrane Curvature-Regulating Phosphatidylethanolamine Lipid Results in Formation of Bilayer and Cubic Structures. (United States)

    Sankhagowit, Shalene; Lee, Ernest Y; Wong, Gerard C L; Malmstadt, Noah


    Oxidation is associated with conditions related to chronic inflammations and aging. Cubic structures have been observed in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial membranes of cells under oxidative stress (e.g., tumor cells and virus-infected cells). It has been previously suspected that oxidation can result in the rearrangement of lipids from a fluid lamellar phase to a cubic structure in organelles containing membranes enriched with amphiphiles that have nonzero intrinsic curvature, such as phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and cardiolipin. This study focuses on the oxidation of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE), a lipid that natively forms an inverted hexagonal phase at physiological conditions. The oxidized samples contain an approximately 3:2 molar ratio of nonoxidized to oxidized DOPE. Optical microscopy images collected during the hydration of this mixture from a dried film suggest that the system evolves into a coexistence of a stable fluid lamellar phase and transient square lattice structures with unit cell sizes of 500-600 nm. Small-angle X-ray scattering of the same lipid mixture yielded a body-centered Im3m cubic phase with the lattice parameter of 14.04 nm. On average, the effective packing parameter of the oxidized DOPE species was estimated to be 0.657 ± 0.069 (standard deviation). This suggests that the oxidation of PE leads to a group of species with inverted molecular intrinsic curvature. Oxidation can create amphiphilic subpopulations that potently impact the integrity of the membrane, since negative Gaussian curvature intrinsic to cubic phases can enable membrane destabilization processes.

  18. Low temperature alters plasma membrane lipid composition and ATPase activity of pineapple fruit during blackheart development. (United States)

    Zhou, Yuchan; Pan, Xiaoping; Qu, Hongxia; Underhill, Steven J R


    Plasma membrane (PM) plays central role in triggering primary responses to chilling injury and sustaining cellular homeostasis. Characterising response of membrane lipids to low temperature can provide important information for identifying early causal factors contributing to chilling injury. To this end, PM lipid composition and ATPase activity were assessed in pineapple fruit (Ananas comosus) in relation to the effect of low temperature on the development of blackheart, a form of chilling injury. Chilling temperature at 10 °C induced blackheart development in concurrence with increase in electrolyte leakage. PM ATPase activity was decreased after 1 week at low temperature, followed by a further decrease after 2 weeks. The enzyme activity was not changed during 25 °C storage. Loss of total PM phospholipids was found during postharvest senescence, but more reduction was shown from storage at 10 °C. Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine were the predominant PM phospholipid species. Low temperature increased the level of phosphatidic acid but decreased the level of phosphatidylinositol. Both phospholipid species were not changed during storage at 25 °C. Postharvest storage at both temperatures decreased the levels of C18:3 and C16:1, and increased level of C18:1. Low temperature decreased the level of C18:2 and increased the level of C14:0. Exogenous application of phosphatidic acid was found to inhibit the PM ATPase activity of pineapple fruit in vitro. Modification of membrane lipid composition and its effect on the functional property of plasma membrane at low temperature were discussed in correlation with their roles in blackheart development of pineapple fruit.

  19. FadD is required for utilization of endogenous fatty acids released from membrane lipids. (United States)

    Pech-Canul, Ángel; Nogales, Joaquina; Miranda-Molina, Alfonso; Álvarez, Laura; Geiger, Otto; Soto, María José; López-Lara, Isabel M


    FadD is an acyl coenzyme A (CoA) synthetase responsible for the activation of exogenous long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) into acyl-CoAs. Mutation of fadD in the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti promotes swarming motility and leads to defects in nodulation of alfalfa plants. In this study, we found that S. meliloti fadD mutants accumulated a mixture of free fatty acids during the stationary phase of growth. The composition of the free fatty acid pool and the results obtained after specific labeling of esterified fatty acids with a Δ5-desaturase (Δ5-Des) were in agreement with membrane phospholipids being the origin of the released fatty acids. Escherichia coli fadD mutants also accumulated free fatty acids released from membrane lipids in the stationary phase. This phenomenon did not occur in a mutant of E. coli with a deficient FadL fatty acid transporter, suggesting that the accumulation of fatty acids in fadD mutants occurs inside the cell. Our results indicate that, besides the activation of exogenous LCFA, in bacteria FadD plays a major role in the activation of endogenous fatty acids released from membrane lipids. Furthermore, expression analysis performed with S. meliloti revealed that a functional FadD is required for the upregulation of genes involved in fatty acid degradation and suggested that in the wild-type strain, the fatty acids released from membrane lipids are degraded by β-oxidation in the stationary phase of growth.

  20. Analysis of constant tension-induced rupture of lipid membranes using activation energy. (United States)

    Karal, Mohammad Abu Sayem; Levadnyy, Victor; Yamazaki, Masahito


    The stretching of biomembranes and lipid membranes plays important roles in various physiological and physicochemical phenomena. Here we analyzed the rate constant kp of constant tension-induced rupture of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) as a function of tension σ using their activation energy Ua. To determine the values of kp, we applied constant tension to a GUV membrane using the micropipette aspiration method and observed the rupture of GUVs, and then analyzed these data statistically. First, we investigated the temperature dependence of kp for GUVs of charged lipid membranes composed of negatively charged dioleoylphosphatidylglycerol (DOPG) and electrically neutral dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC). By analyzing this result, the values of Ua of tension-induced rupture of DOPG/DOPC-GUVs were obtained. Ua decreased with an increase in σ, supporting the classical theory of tension-induced pore formation. The analysis of the relationship between Ua and σ using the theory on the electrostatic interaction effects on the tension-induced rupture of GUVs provided the equation of Ua including electrostatic interaction effects, which well fits the experimental data of the tension dependence of Ua. A constant which does not depend on tension, U0, was also found to contribute significantly to Ua. The Arrhenius equations for kp using the equation of Ua and the parameters determined by the above analysis fit well to the experimental data of the tension dependence of kp for DOPG/DOPC-GUVs as well as for DOPC-GUVs. On the basis of these results, we discussed the possible elementary processes underlying the tension-induced rupture of GUVs of lipid membranes. These results indicate that the Arrhenius equation using the experimentally determined Ua is useful in the analysis of tension-induced rupture of GUVs.

  1. Bilayer lipid membranes supported on Teflon filters: a functional environment for ion channels. (United States)

    Phung, Thai; Zhang, Yanli; Dunlop, James; Dalziel, Julie


    Many ion channel proteins have binding sites for toxins and pharmaceutical drugs and therefore have much promise as the sensing entity in high throughput technologies and biosensor devices. Measurement of ionic conductance changes through ion channels requires a robust biological membrane with sufficient longevity for practical applications. The conventional planar BLM is 100-300 μm in diameter and typically contains fewer than a dozen channels whereas pharmaceutical screening methods in cells use current recordings for many ion channels. We present a new, simple method for the fabrication of a disposable porous-supported bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) ion channel biosensor using hydrated Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE) filter material (pore size 5 μm, filter diameter=1 mm). The lipid layer was monitored for its thickness and mechanical stability by electrical impedance spectroscopy. The results showed membrane capacitances of 1.8±0.2 nF and membrane resistances of 25.9±4.1 GΩ, indicating the formation of lipid bilayers. The current level increased upon addition of the pore-forming peptide gramicidin. Following addition of liposomes containing voltage-gated sodium channels, small macroscopic sodium currents (1-80 pA) could be recorded. By preloading the porous Teflon with sodium channel proteoliposomes, prior to BLM formation, currents of 1-10 nA could be recorded in the presence of the activator veratridine that increased with time, and were inhibited by tetrodotoxin. A lack of rectification suggests that the channels incorporated in both orientations. This work demonstrates that PTFE filters can support BLMs that provide an environment in which ion channels can maintain their functional activity relevant for applications in drug discovery, toxin detection, and odour sensing.

  2. Using macromolecular-crystallography beamline and microfluidic platform for small-angle diffraction studies of lipidic matrices for membrane-protein crystallization (United States)

    Kondrashkina, E.; Khvostichenko, D. S.; Perry, S. L.; Von Osinski, J.; Kenis, P. J. A.; Brister, K.


    Macromolecular-crystallography (MX) beamlines routinely provide a possibility to change X-ray beam energy, focus the beam to a size of tens of microns, align a sample on a microdiffractometer using on-axis video microscope, and collect data with an area-detector positioned in three dimensions. These capabilities allow for running complementary measurements of small-angle X-ray scattering and diffraction (SAXS) at the same beamline with such additions to the standard MX setup as a vacuum path between the sample and the detector, a modified beam stop, and a custom sample cell. On the 21-ID-D MX beamline at the Advanced Photon Source we attach a vacuum flight tube to the area detector support and use the support motion for aligning a beam stop built into the rear end of the flight tube. At 8 KeV energy and 1 m sample-to-detector distance we can achieve a small-angle resolution of 0.01A-1 in the reciprocal space. Measuring SAXS with this setup, we have studied phase diagrams of lipidic mesophases used as matrices for membrane-protein crystallization. The outcome of crystallization trials is significantly affected by the structure of the lipidic mesophases, which is determined by the composition of the crystallization mixture. We use a microfluidic chip for the mesophase formulation and in situ SAXS data collection. Using the MX beamline and the microfluidic platform we have demonstrated the viability of the high-throughput SAXS studies facilitating screening of lipidic matrices for membrane-protein crystallization.

  3. Effects of Leucin-Enkephalins on Surface Characteristics and Morphology of Model Membranes Composed of Raft-Forming Lipids. (United States)

    Tsanova, Asya; Jordanova, A; Lalchev, Z


    During the last decades opioid peptides, like enkephalins (Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Met/Leu) are subject to extensive studies due to their antinociceptive action in organism. According to the membrane catalysis theory, in order to adopt a proper conformation for binding to their receptors, opioid peptides interact with the lipid phase of the membrane receptor surrounding. With this regard, the aim of the present work was to study the effects of synthetic leucine-enkephalin and leucine-enkephalinamide on surface characteristics and morphology of lipid monolayers, composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, sphingomyelin, and cholesterol alone and with their mixtures. The lipids were chosen to represent a model of a membrane raft, since it is known that G-protein-coupled receptors, including opioid receptors, are located preferably in membrane rafts. By using Langmuir's monolayer method, the change in surface pressure of the model membranes before and after the addition of the synthetic enkephalins was studied, and the compressional moduli of the lipids and lipid-peptides monolayers were determined. In addition, by Brewster angle microscopy, the surface morphology of the lipid monolayers alone and after the injection of both enkephalins was monitored. Our results showed that both leucine-enkephalins affected the lipid monolayers surface characteristics, and led to an increase in surface density of the mixed surface lipids/enkephalins films at loose lipid packing. This effect was more pronounced for the enkephalinamide, suggesting a different mechanism of interaction for the amidated enkephalin with the lipid phase, as compared to leucine-enkephalin.

  4. The β-subunit of cholera toxin has a high affinity for ganglioside GM1 embedded into solid supported lipid membranes with a lipid raft-like composition. (United States)

    Margheri, G; D'Agostino, R; Trigari, S; Sottini, S; Del Rosso, M


    In this communication, we report on the fabrication of GM1-rich solid-supported bilayer lipid membranes (ssBLM) made of sphingomyelin and cholesterol, the main components of lipid rafts,which are the physiological hosting microenvironment of GM1 on the cell membrane. The functionality of the ganglioside has been checked by measuring the apparent dissociation constant K(D) of the complex formed by the β-subunit of the cholera toxin and GM1. The value found deviates less than one order of magnitude from that measured for in vivo cells, indicating the potential of these ssBLM as optimized in vitro biomimetic platforms.

  5. Following the trail of lipids: Signals initiated by PI3K function at multiple cellular membranes. (United States)

    Naguib, Adam


    Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P3] is the signaling currency of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway; transduction through this axis depends on this signaling lipid. Formation of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 is dictated not only by PI3K activation but also by the localization and access of PI3K to its substrate PtdIns(4,5)P2 (phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate). PI3K/AKT-mediated signaling is antagonized by PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 dephosphorylation. Although previously typically considered an event associated with the plasma membrane, it is now appreciated that the formation and metabolism of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 occur on multiple membranes with distinct kinetics. Modulated activity of phosphatidylinositol lipid kinases and phosphatases contributes to intricately orchestrated lipid gradients that define the signaling status of the pathway at multiple sites within the cell.

  6. Electrodynamics of lipid membrane interactions in the presence of zwitterionic buffers. (United States)

    Koerner, Megan M; Palacio, Luis A; Wright, Johnnie W; Schweitzer, Kelly S; Ray, Bruce D; Petrache, Horia I


    Due to thermal motion and molecular polarizability, electrical interactions in biological systems have a dynamic character. Zwitterions are dipolar molecules that typically are highly polarizable and exhibit both a positive and a negative charge depending on the pH of the solution. We use multilamellar structures of common lipids to identify and quantify the effects of zwitterionic buffers that go beyond the control of pH. We use the fact that the repeat spacing of multilamellar lipid bilayers is a sensitive and accurate indicator of the force balance between membranes. We show that common buffers can in fact charge up neutral membranes. However, this electrostatic effect is not immediately recognized because of the concomitant modification of dispersion (van der Waals) forces. We show that although surface charging can be weak, electrostatic forces are significant even at large distances because of reduced ionic screening and reduced van der Waals attraction. The zwitterionic interactions that we identify are expected to be relevant for interfacial biological processes involving lipid bilayers, and for a wide range of biomaterials, including amino acids, detergents, and pharmaceutical drugs. An appreciation of zwitterionic electrodynamic character can lead to a better understanding of molecular interactions in biological systems and in soft materials in general.

  7. Correlating anomalous diffusion with lipid bilayer membrane structure using single molecule tracking and atomic force microscopy (United States)

    Skaug, Michael J.; Faller, Roland; Longo, Marjorie L.


    Anomalous diffusion has been observed abundantly in the plasma membrane of biological cells, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. In general, it has not been possible to directly image the obstacles to diffusion in membranes, which are thought to be skeleton bound proteins, protein aggregates, and lipid domains, so the dynamics of diffusing particles is used to deduce the obstacle characteristics. We present a supported lipid bilayer system in which we characterized the anomalous diffusion of lipid molecules using single molecule tracking, while at the same time imaging the obstacles to diffusion with atomic force microscopy. To explain our experimental results, we performed lattice Monte Carlo simulations of tracer diffusion in the presence of the experimentally determined obstacle configurations. We correlate the observed anomalous diffusion with obstacle area fraction, fractal dimension, and correlation length. To accurately measure an anomalous diffusion exponent, we derived an expression to account for the time-averaging inherent to all single molecule tracking experiments. We show that the length of the single molecule trajectories is critical to the determination of the anomalous diffusion exponent. We further discuss our results in the context of confinement models and the generating stochastic process.

  8. Membrane lipids tune synaptic transmission by direct modulation of presynaptic potassium channels. (United States)

    Carta, Mario; Lanore, Frederic; Rebola, Nelson; Szabo, Zsolt; Da Silva, Silvia Viana; Lourenço, Joana; Verraes, Agathe; Nadler, André; Schultz, Carsten; Blanchet, Christophe; Mulle, Christophe


    Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels are involved in action potential (AP) repolarization in excitable cells. Exogenous application of membrane-derived lipids, such as arachidonic acid (AA), regulates the gating of Kv channels. Whether membrane-derived lipids released under physiological conditions have an impact on neuronal coding through this mechanism is unknown. We show that AA released in an activity-dependent manner from postsynaptic hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells acts as retrograde messenger, inducing a robust facilitation of mossy fiber (Mf) synaptic transmission over several minutes. AA acts by broadening presynaptic APs through the direct modulation of Kv channels. This form of short-term plasticity can be triggered when postsynaptic cell fires with physiologically relevant patterns and sets the threshold for the induction of the presynaptic form of long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal Mf synapses. Hence, direct modulation of presynaptic Kv channels by activity-dependent release of lipids serves as a physiological mechanism for tuning synaptic transmission.

  9. TNAP, an Essential Player in Membrane Lipid Rafts of Neuronal Cells. (United States)

    Ermonval, Myriam; Baychelier, Florence; Fonta, Caroline


    The tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) is a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored glycoprotein which exists under different forms and is expressed in different tissues. As the other members of the ecto-phosphatase family, TNAP is targeted to membrane lipid rafts. Such micro domains enriched in particular lipids, are involved in cell sorting, are in close contact with the cellular cytoskeleton and play the role of signaling platform. In addition to its location in functional domains, the extracellular orientation of TNAP and the fact this glycoprotein can be shed from plasma membranes, contribute to its different phosphatase activities by acting as a phosphomonoesterase on various soluble substrates (inorganic pyrophosphate -PPi-, pyridoxal phosphate -PLP-, phosphoethanolamine -PEA-), as an ectonucleotidase on nucleotide-phosphate and presumably as a phosphatase able to dephosphorylate phosphoproteins and phospholipids associated to cells or to extra cellular matrix. More and more data accumulate on an involvement of the brain TNAP both in physiological and pathological situations. This review will summarize what is known and expected from the TNAP localization in lipid rafts with a particular emphasis on the role of a neuronal microenvironment on its potential function in the central nervous system.

  10. Distribution of Drug Molecules in Lipid Membranes: Neutron Diffraction and MD Simulations. (United States)

    Boggara, Mohan; Mihailescu, Ella; Krishnamoorti, Ramanan


    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) e.g. Aspirin and Ibuprofen, with chronic usage cause gastro intestinal (GI) toxicity. It has been shown experimentally that NSAIDs pre-associated with phospholipids reduce the GI toxicity and also increase the therapeutic activity of these drugs compared to the unmodified ones. In this study, using neutron diffraction, the DOPC lipid bilayer structure (with and without drug) as well as the distribution of a model NSAID (Ibuprofen) as a function of its position along the membrane normal was obtained at sub-nanometer resolution. It was found that the bilayer thickness reduces as the drug is added. Further, the results are successfully compared with atomistic Molecular Dynamics simulations. Based on this successful comparison and motivated by atomic details from MD, quasi-molecular modeling of the lipid membrane is being carried out and will be presented. The above study is expected to provide an effective methodology to design drug delivery nanoparticles based on a variety of soft condensed matter such as lipids or polymers.

  11. Numerical study of the phase separation in binary lipid membrane containing protein inclusions under stationary shear flow. (United States)

    Chen, Xiao-Bo; Shi, Hui-Ji; Niu, Li-Sha


    The phase separation of lipids is believed to be responsible for the formation of lipid rafts in biological cell membrane. In the present work, a continuum model and a particle model are constructed to study the phase separation in binary lipid membrane containing inclusions under stationary shear flow. In each model, employing the cell dynamical system (CDS) approach, the kinetic equations of the confusion-advection process are numerically solved. Snapshot figures of the phase morphology are performed to intuitively display such phase evolving process. Considering the effects from both the inclusions and the shear flow, the time growth law of the characteristic domain size is discussed.

  12. Effect of vertically aligned carbon nanotube density on the water flux and salt rejection in desalination membranes. (United States)

    Trivedi, Samarth; Alameh, Kamal


    In this paper, vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) membranes of different densities are developed and their performances are investigated. VACNT arrays of densities 5 × 10(9), 10(10), 5 × 10(10) and 10(11) tubes cm(-2), are initially grown on 1 cm × 1 cm silicon substrates using chemical vapour deposition. A VACNT membrane is realised by attaching a 300 μm-thick 1 cm × 1 cm VACNT array on silicon to a 4″ glass substrate, applying polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) through spin coating to fill the gaps between the VACNTs, and using a microtome to slice the VACNT-PDMS composite into 25-μm-thick membranes. Experimental results show that the permeability of the developed VACNT membranes increases with the density of the VACNTs, while the salt rejection is almost independent of the VACNT density. The best measured permeance is attained with a VACNT membrane having a CNT density of 10(11) tubes cm(-2) is 1203 LMH at 1 bar.

  13. Lipid Lateral Segregation Driven by Diacyl Cyclodextrin Interactions at the Membrane Surface (United States)

    Roux, Michel; Moutard, Stéphane; Perly, Bruno; Djedaini-Pilard, Florence


    Cyclodextrins are hydrophilic molecular cages with a hydrophobic interior allowing the inclusion of water-insoluble drugs. Amphiphilic cyclodextrins obtained by appending a hydrophobic anchor were designed to improve the cell targeting of the drug-containing cavities through their liposome transportation in the organism. After insertion in model membranes, they were found to induce a lateral phase separation into a pure lipid phase and a fluid cyclodextrin-rich phase (LCD) with reduced acyl chain order parameters, as observed with a derivative containing a cholesterol anchor (M. Roux, R. Auzely-Velty, F. Djedaïni-Pilard, and B. Perly. 2002. Biophysical Journal, 8:813–822). We present another class of amphiphilic cyclodextrins obtained by grafting aspartic acid esterified by two lauryl chains on the oligosaccharide core via a succinyl spacer. The obtained dilauryl-β-cyclodextrin (βDLC) was inserted in chain perdeuterated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC-d54) membranes and studied by deuterium NMR (2H-NMR). A laterally segregated mixed phase was found to sequester three times more lipids than the cholesteryl derivative (∼4–5 lipids per monomer of βDLC), and a quasipure LCD phase could be obtained with a 20% molar concentration of βDLC. When cooled below the main fluid-to-gel transition of DMPC-d54 the βDLC-rich phase stays fluid, coexisting with pure lipid in the gel state, and exhibits a sharp transition to a gel phase with frozen DMPC acyl chains at 12.5°C. No lateral phase separation was observed with partially or fully methylated βDLC, confirming that the stability of the segregated LCD phase was governed through hydrogen-bond-mediated intermolecular interactions between cyclodextrin headgroups at the membrane surface. As opposed to native βDLC, the methylated derivatives were found to strongly increase the orientational order of DMPC acyl chains as the temperature reaches the membrane fluid-to-gel transition. The results are discussed in

  14. The protein and lipid composition of the membrane of milk fat globules depends on their size. (United States)

    Lu, Jing; Argov-Argaman, Nurit; Anggrek, Jeni; Boeren, Sjef; van Hooijdonk, Toon; Vervoort, Jacques; Hettinga, Kasper Arthur