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Logo of archaeaArchaea
Archaea. 2012; 2012: 138439.
Published online 2012 September 18. doi:  10.1155/2012/138439
PMCID: PMC3458407

On Physical Properties of Tetraether Lipid Membranes: Effects of Cyclopentane Rings


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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