Adhesion between cerebroside bilayers.
The structure, hydration properties, and adhesion energy of the membrane glycolipid galactosylceramide (GalCer) were studied by osmotic stress/X-ray diffraction analysis.(1) Fully hydrated GalCer gave a repeat period of 67 A, which decreased less than 2 A with application of applied osmotic pressures as large as 1.6 x 10(9) dyn/cm(2). These results, along with the invariance of GalCer structure obtained by a Fourier analysis of the X-ray data, indicated that there was an extremely narrow fluid space (less than the diameter of a single water molecule) between fully hydrated cerebroside bilayers. Electron density profiles showed that the hydrocarbon chains from apposing GalCer monolayers partially interdigitated in the center of the bilayer. To obtain information on the adhesive properties of GalCer bilayers, we incorporated into the bilayer various mole ratios of the negatively charged lipid dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) to provide known electrostatic repulsion between the bilayers. Although 17 and 20 mol % DPPG swelled (disjoined) the GalCer bilayers by an amount predictable from electrostatic double-layer theory, 5, 10, 13, and 15 mol % DPPG did not disjoin the bilayers. By calculating the magnitude of the electrostatic pressure necessary to disjoin the bilayers, we estimated the adhesion energy for GalCer bilayers to be about -1.5 erg/cm(2), a much larger value than that previously measured for phosphatidylcholine bilayers. The observed discontinuous disjoining with increased electrostatic pressure and this relatively large value for adhesion energy indicated the presence of an attractive interaction, in addition to van der Waals attraction, between cerebroside bilayers. Possible attractive interactions are hydrogen bond formation and hydrophobic interactions between the galactose headgroups of apposing GalCer bilayers.
Kulkarni, K; Snyder, DS; McIntosh, TJ
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