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Archaea. 2012; 2012: 138439.
Published online Sep 18, 2012. doi:  10.1155/2012/138439
PMCID: PMC3458407
On Physical Properties of Tetraether Lipid Membranes: Effects of Cyclopentane Rings
Parkson Lee-Gau Chong,* Umme Ayesa, Varsha Prakash Daswani, and Ellah Chay Hur
Department of Biochemistry, Temple University School of Medicine, 3420 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA
*Parkson Lee-Gau Chong: pchong02/at/
Academic Editor: Yosuke Koga
Received July 6, 2012; Accepted August 8, 2012.
This paper reviews the recent findings related to the physical properties of tetraether lipid membranes, with special attention to the effects of the number, position, and configuration of cyclopentane rings on membrane properties. We discuss the findings obtained from liposomes and monolayers, composed of naturally occurring archaeal tetraether lipids and synthetic tetraethers as well as the results from computer simulations. It appears that the number, position, and stereochemistry of cyclopentane rings in the dibiphytanyl chains of tetraether lipids have significant influence on packing tightness, lipid conformation, membrane thickness and organization, and headgroup hydration/orientation.
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