Area per molecule and distribution of water in fully hydrated dilauroylphosphatidylethanolamine bilayers.
The area per lipid molecule for fully hydrated dilauroylphosphatidylethanolamine (DLPE) has been obtained in both the gel and liquid-crystalline states by combining wide-angle X-ray diffraction, electron density profiles, and previously published dilatometry results [Wilkinson, D. A., & Nagle, J. F. (1981) Biochemistry 20, 187-192]. The molecular area increases from 41.0 +/- 0.2 to 49.1 +/- 1.2 A2 upon melting from the gel to liquid-crystalline phase. The thickness of the bilayer, as measured from the electron density profiles, decreases about 4 A upon melting, from 45.2 +/- 0.3 to 41.0 +/- 0.6 A. A somewhat unexpected result is that the fluid layer between fully hydrated bilayers is the same in both gel and liquid-crystalline phases and is only about 5 A thick. From these data, plus the volume of the anhydrous DLPE molecule, it is possible to determine the number of water molecules per lipid and their approximate distribution relative to the lipid molecule. Our analysis shows that there are about 7 and 9 waters per DLPE molecule in the gel and liquid-crystalline phases, respectively. About half of the water is located in the fluid space between adjacent bilayers, and the remaining waters are intercalated into the bilayer, presumably in the head group region. There are significantly fewer water molecules in the fluid spaces between DLPE bilayers than in the fluid spaces in gel- or liquid-crystalline-phase phosphatidylcholine bilayers. This small fluid space in PE bilayers could arise from interbilayer hydrogen bond formation through the water molecules or electrostatic interactions between the amine and phosphate groups on apposing bilayers.
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