The noneffect of a large linear hydrocarbon, squalene, on the phosphatidylcholine packing structure.
The interaction of squalene with liposomes and monolayers of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPL) has been studied by differential scanning calorimetry, Raman spectroscopy, and surface potential measurements. Mole ratios of squalene to DPL up to 9 to 1 were studied. In contrast to small, nonpolar molecules, which profoundly influence the structure of lipid bilayers as detected by changes in both their thermodynamic phase transition parameters and membrane fluidity, this large, nonpolar, linear hydrocarbon is devoid of such influences. It is clear from our data that a large nonpolar molecule such as squalene, having no polar group that might anchor it to the aqueous interface, cannot intercalate between the acyl chains either below or above the phase transition of DPL. This behavior is not compatible with models that treat the bilayer interior as a bulk hydrocarbon, and suggests that great caution should be exercised in extrapolating partition coefficients based on bulk hydrocarbon measurements to lipid bilayers.
Simon, SA; Lis, LJ; MacDonald, RC; Kauffman, JW
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)