Trehalose preserves lipid bilayers during dehydration and rehydration by replacing water to form hydrogen bonds between its own OH groups and lipid headgroups. We compare the lipid conformation and dynamics between trehalose-protected lyophilized membranes and hydrated membranes, to assess the suitability of the trehalose-containing membrane as a matrix for membrane protein structure determination. 31P spectra indicate that the lipid headgroup of trehalose-protected dry POPC membrane (TRE-POPC) have an effective phase transition temperature that is ~50 K higher than that of the hydrated POPC membrane. In contrast, the acyl chains have similar transition temperatures in the two membranes. Intramolecular lipid 13C’-31P distances are the same in TRE-POPC and crystalline POPC, indicating that the lipid headgroup and glycerol backbone conformation is unaffected by trehalose incorporation. Intermolecular 13C-31P distances between a membrane peptide and the lipid headgroups are 10% longer in the hydrated membrane at 226 K than in the trehalose-protected dry membrane at 253 K. This is attributed to residual motions in the hydrated membrane, manifested by the reduced 31P chemical shift anisotropy, even at the low temperature of 226 K. Thus, trehalose lyoprotection facilitates the study of membrane protein structure by allowing experiments to be conducted at higher temperatures than possible with the hydrated membranes.
trehalose; lipid bilayers; 13C-31P distances; membrane peptide structure; solid-state NMR
Using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), we determined some thermodynamic and structural parameters for a series of amino acid-linked dialkyl lipids containing a glutamic acid-succinate headgroup and di-alkyl chains: C12, C14, C16 and C18 in CHES buffer, pH 10. Upon heating, DSC shows that the C12, C14 and annealed C16 lipids undergo a single transition which XRD shows is from a lamellar, chain ordered subgel phase to a fluid phase. This single transition splits into two transitions for C18, and FTIR shows that the upper main transition is predominantly the melting of the hydrocarbon chains whereas the lower transition involves changes in the headgroup ordering as well as changes in the lateral packing of the chains. For short incubation times at low temperature, the C16 lipid appears to behave like the C18 lipid, but appropriate annealing at low temperatures indicates that its true equilibrium behavior is like the shorter chain lipids. XRD shows that the C12 lipid readily converts into a highly ordered subgel phase upon cooling and suggests a model with untilted, interdigitated chains and an area of 77.2 Å2/4 chains, with a distorted orthorhombic unit subcell, a = 9.0 Å, b = 4.3 Å and β = 92.7°. As the chain length n increases, subgel formation is slowed, but untilted, interdigitated chains prevail.
DSC; XRD; FTIR; Peptidic amphiphiles; Lipid bilayers
Freeze fracturing and deep etching have been used to study thermotropic lateral translational motion of intramembrane particles and membrane surface anionic groups in the inner mitochondrial membrane. When the inner membrane is equilibrated at low temperature, the fracture faces of both halves of the membrane reveal a lateral separation between intramembrane particles and particle free, large smooth patches. Such separation is completely reversed through free lateral translational diffusion by reversing the temperature. The low temperature induced, particle-free, smooth membrane patches appear to represent regions of protein-excluding, ordered bilayer lipid which form during thermotropic liquid crystalline to gel state phase transitions. When polycationic ferritin is electrostatically bound to anionic groups exposed at the membrane surface at concentrations which inhibit the activities of cytochrome c oxidase and succinate permease, the bound ferritin migrates with intramembrane particles during the thermotropic lateral separation between the membrane particles and smooth patches. When bound polycationic ferritin is cross-bridged with native ferritin, an artificial peripheral protein lattice forms in association with the surface anionic groups and diminishes the thermotropic lateral translational motion of intramembrane particles in the membrane. These results reveal that the anionic groups of metabolically active integral proteins which are known to be exposed at the surface of the inner mitochondrial membrane migrate with intramembrane particles in the plane of the membrane under conditions which induce lipid-protein lateral separations. In addition, cross-bridging of the anionic groups through an artificial peripheral protein lattice appears to diminish such induced lipid protein lateral separations.
Phospholipid headgroups act as major determinants in proper folding of oligomeric membrane proteins. The K+-channel KcsA is the most popular model protein among these complexes. The presence of zwitterionic nonbilayer lipid phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) is crucial for efficient tetramerization and stabilization of KcsA in a lipid bilayer. In this study, the influence of PE on KcsA folding properties was analyzed by tryptophan fluorescence and acrylamide quenching experiments and compared with the effect of anionic phosphatidic acid (PA). The preliminary studies suggest that the small size and hydrogen bonding capability of the PE headgroup influences KcsA folding via a mechanism quite similar to that observed for anionic PA.
Assembly and stability; Hydrogen bonding; KcsA potassium channel; Lipid bilayers; Phosphatidic acid; Phosphatidylethanolamine; Protein–lipid interaction
Differential scanning calorimetry was used to study the phase behavior of binary lipid bilayers consisting of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) of varying acyl chain length. A 2-state transition model was used to resolve the individual transition components, and the 2-state transition enthalpy, the relative enthalpy and the transition temperature of each component were plotted as a function of composition. Intriguingly, abrupt changes in these thermodynamic parameters were observed at or close to many “critical” XPE values predicted by the Superlattice model proposing that phospholipids with different headgroups tend to adopt regular rather than random lateral distributions. Statistical analysis indicated that the agreement between the observed and predicted “critical” compositions is highly significant. Accordingly, these data provide strong evidence for that the molecules in PC/PE bilayers tend to adopt regular, superlattice-like lateral arrangements, which could be involved in the regulation of the lipid compositions of biological membranes.
regular distribution; membrane; phospholipid; homeostasis; regulation
The role of lipid domain size and protein-lipid interfaces in the thermotropic phase transition of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayers in Nanodiscs was studied using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and generalized polarization (GP) of the lipophilic probe Laurdan. Nanodiscs are water-soluble, monodisperse self-assembled lipid bilayers encompassed by a helical membrane scaffold protein (MSP). MSPs of different lengths were used to define the diameter of the Nanodisc lipid bilayer from 76 to 108 Å and the number of DPPC molecules from 164 to 335 per discoidal structure. In Nanodiscs of all sizes, the phase transitions were broader and shifted to higher temperatures relative to those observed in vesicle preparations. The size dependences of the transition enthalpies and structural parameters of Nanodiscs reveal the presence of a boundary lipid layer in contact with the scaffold protein encircling the perimeter of the disc. The thickness of this annular layer was estimated to be approximately 15 Å, or two lipid molecules. SAXS was used to measure the lateral thermal expansion of Nanodiscs and a steep decrease of bilayer thickness during the main lipid phase transition was observed. These results provide basis for the quantitative understanding of cooperative phase transitions in membrane bilayers in confined geometries at the nanoscale.
Phase transition; Nanodisc; Phospholipid bilayer; Nanodomain; Differential scanning calorimetry; Small-angle X-ray scattering
Biological membranes separate cells from the environment. From a single cell to multicellular plants and animals, glycerolipids, such as phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylethanolamine, form bilayer membranes which act as both boundaries and interfaces for chemical exchange between cells and their surroundings. Unlike animals, plant cells have a special organelle for photosynthesis, the chloroplast. The intricate membrane system of the chloroplast contains unique glycerolipids, namely glycolipids lacking phosphorus: monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (SQDG)4. The roles of these lipids are beyond simply structural. These glycolipids and other glycerolipids were found in the crystal structures of photosystem I and II indicating the involvement of glycerolipids in photosynthesis8,11. During phosphate starvation, DGDG is transferred to extraplastidic membranes to compensate the loss of phospholipids9,12.
Much of our knowledge of the biosynthesis and function of these lipids has been derived from a combination of genetic and biochemical studies with Arabidopsis thaliana14. During these studies, a simple procedure for the analysis of polar lipids has been essential for the screening and analysis of lipid mutants and will be outlined in detail. A leaf lipid extract is first separated by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and glycerolipids are stained reversibly with iodine vapor. The individual lipids are scraped from the TLC plate and converted to fatty acyl methylesters (FAMEs), which are analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography coupled with flame ionization detection (FID-GLC) (Figure 1). This method has been proven to be a reliable tool for mutant screening. For example, the tgd1,2,3,4 endoplasmic reticulum-to-plastid lipid trafficking mutants were discovered based on the accumulation of an abnormal galactoglycerolipid: trigalactosyldiacylglycerol (TGDG) and a decrease in the relative amount of 18:3 (carbons : double bonds) fatty acyl groups in membrane lipids 3,13,18,20. This method is also applicable for determining enzymatic activities of proteins using lipids as substrate6.
The effect of alterations of lipid phase order of thylakoid membranes on the thermosensitivity of photosystem I (PS I) and photosystem II (PS II) was studied. Plant sterols stigmasterol and cholesterol were applied to decrease the fluidity in isolated membranes. After sterol treatment, a decrease of the temperature of 50 % inhibition of PSII activity was observed. Heat stress-induced stimulation of PSI-mediated electron transport rate was registered for control, but not for sterol-treated membranes. Effect of altered lipid order on oxygen evolving complex was evaluated by means of flash oxygen yields revealing changes in the stoichiometry of PSIIα and PSIIβ centers. The effect of sterol incorporation on the changes in the thermotropic behavior of the main pigment-protein complexes was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). DSC traces of control thylakoids in the temperature range 20–98 °C exhibited several irreversible endothermic transitions. Incorporation of cholesterol and stigmasterol results in superimposition of the transitions and only two main bands could be resolved. While high temperature band peaks at the same temperature after treatment with both sterols, the band that combines low temperature transitions shows different melting temperature (Tm): 70 °C for stigmasterol- and 65 °C for cholesterol-treated membranes. The data presented here emphasise the crucial role of lipid order for the response of thylakoids to high temperatures, mediated not only by changes in the fluidity of bulk lipid phase as result of sterol incorporation but also by changes in the thermotropic properties of pigment-protein complexes.
Cholesterol; Fluidity; Heat stress; Oxygen flash yields; Thylakoid membrane; Stigmasterol
The enhanced permeability of flat lipid bilayer membranes at their gel to liquid-crystalline (LC) phase transition has been explored using coarse-grained molecular dynamics. The phase transition temperature, Tm, is deduced by monitoring the area per lipid, the lipid lateral diffusion constant, and the lipid-lipid radial distribution function. We find that a peak in the permeability coincides with the phase transition from the gel to LC state when lysolipid is present. This peak in permeability correlates with a jump in the area per lipid near the same temperature as well as increased fluctuations in the lipid bilayer free volume. At temperatures above Tm, the permeability is only slightly dependent on the amount of lysolipid present. The increased free volume due to the "missing tail" of the lysolipid is partially compensated for by a decrease in area per lipid as the amount of lysolipid increases. We also found that in the coarse-grained model a small amount (≤15 mol %) of lysolipid stabilizes the gel phase and increases the phase transition temperature, while a larger amount of lysolipid (20 mol %) reduces Tm back to that for pure DPPC, and bilayers consisting of ≥30 mol % lysolipid did not form a gel phase but still exhibited a peak in permeability near Tm for pure DPPC.
Several divinylic mesogenic monomers were synthesized based on coupling the monomer 4-(4-pentenyloxy)benzoic acid with chlorohydroquinone, 2,5-dihydroxy- acetophenone, methylhydroquinone or 2-methoxyhydroquinone. This resulted in novel mesogens of phenylene esters with different lateral substituent groups. The effect of the lateral substituent group on the thermotropic phase behavior for these liquid crystalline compounds was investigated using DSC and optical polarized microscopy. All the mesogens proved to have a wide nematic liquid crystalline range. Only the phenylene ester, which has a methoxy lateral substituent, exhibited both nematic and smectic phases. Structural confirmation of all new derivatives was accomplished by 1H- and 13C-NMR spectroscopic analysis, along with CH elemental analysis.
liquid crystalline texture; nematic phase; smectic phase
As part of a study of the molecular basis of membrane fusion by enveloped viruses, we have used neutron diffraction to study the lamellar (Lα) to inverse hexagonal (HII) phase transition in the phospholipid N-methylated dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine. This lipid was chosen because its phase transitions are particularly sensitive to the presence of agents that have been demonstrated to promote or inhibit membrane fusion. Two different geometries of neutron diffraction were used: small angle scattering (SANS) and a membrane diffractometer. The SANS measurements were carried out on the SWAN instrument at KEK, Japan, using dispersions of multilamellar vesicles (MLVs). The diffractometer measurements used the V1 instrument at BeNSC-HMI, Germany, with a specially-constructed cell that holds a stack of lipid bilayers in an excess-water state. The two approaches are compared and discussed. Although the diffractometer takes considerably longer to collect the data, it records much higher resolution than the SANS instrument. The samples recorded in the excess-water cell were shown to be well aligned, despite the lipids being fully hydrated, allowing for the production of high-resolution data. Trial measurements performed have demonstrated that sample alignment is preserved throughout the Lα to HII phase transition, thereby opening up possibilities for obtaining high-resolution data from non-lamellar phases.
phospholipids; phase transitions; neutron diffraction; inverse hexagonal phase; lamellar phase; cubic phase
Amphiphilic dicationic surfactants, known as gemini surfactants, are currently studied for gene delivery purposes. The gemini surfactant molecule is composed of two hydrophilic “head” groups attached to hydrophobic chains and connected via molecular linker between them. The influence of different concentrations of 1,5-bis (1-imidazolilo-3- decyloxymethyl) pentane chloride (gemini surfactant) on the thermotropic phase behaviour of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) bilayers with and without the presence of DNA was investigated using Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopies, small angle scattering of synchrotron radiation and differential scanning calorimetry. With increasing concentration of surfactant in DMPC/DNA systems, a disappearance of pretransition and a decrease in the main phase transition enthalpy and temperature were observed. The increasing intensity of diffraction peaks as a function of surfactant concentration also clearly shows the ability of the surfactant to promote the organisation of lipid bilayers in the multilayer lamellar phase.
phospholipids; dicationic surfactant; gemini surfactant; DNA; DNA-lipid interactions; DNA-surfactant interactions
Dioctadecyldimethylammonium bromide (DODAB) is a double chain cationic lipid, which assembles as bilayer structures in aqueous solution. The precise structures formed depend on, e.g., lipid concentration and temperature. We here combine differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS) to investigate the thermal and structural behavior of up to 120 mM DODAB in water within the temperature range 1–70°C. Below 1 mM, this system is dominated by unilamellar vesicles (ULVs). Between 1 and 65 mM, ULVs and multilamellar structures (MLSs) co-exist, while above 65 mM, the MLSs are the preferred structure. Depending on temperature, DSC and X-ray data show that the vesicles can be either in the subgel (SG), gel, or liquid crystalline (LC) state, while the MLSs (with lattice distance d = 36.7 Å) consist of interdigitated lamellae in the SG state, and ULVs in the LC state (no Bragg peak). Critical temperatures related to the thermal transitions of these bilayer structures obtained in the heating and cooling modes are reported, together with the corresponding transition enthalpies.
Interactions between dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylserine (DPPS), combined both as binary lipid bilayer assemblies and separately, under the influence of divalent Mg2+, a membrane bilayer fusogenic agent, are reported. Infrared vibrational spectroscopic analyses of the lipid acyl chain methylene symmetric stretching modes indicate that aggregates of the two phospholipid components exist as domains heterogeneously distributed throughout the binary bilayer system. In the presence of Mg2+, DPPS maintains an ordered orthorhombic subcell gel phase structure through the phase transition temperature, while the DPPC component is only minimally perturbed with respect to the gel to liquid crystalline phase change. The addition of Mg2+ induces a reorganization of the lipid domains in which the gel phase acyl chain planes rearrange from an hexagonal configuration toward a triclinic, parallel chain subcell. Examination of the acyl chain methylene deformation modes at low temperatures allows a determination of DPPS microdomain sizes, which decrease in size upon the addition of DPPC-d62 in the absence of Mg2+. On adding Mg2+, a uniform DPPS domain size is observed in the binary mixtures. In either the presence or absence of Mg2+, DPPC-d62 aggregates remain in a configuration for which microdomain sizes are not spectroscopically measurable. Analysis of the acyl chain methylene deformation modes for DPPC-d62 in the binary system suggests that clusters of the deuterated lipids are distributed throughout the DPPS matrix. Light scattering and fluorescence measurements indicate that Mg2+ induces both the aggregation and the fusion of the lipid assemblies as a function of the ratio of DPPS to DPPC. The structural reorganizations of the lipid microdomains within the DPPS/DPPC bilayer are interpreted in the context of current concepts regarding lipid bilayer fusion.
Lipid microdomains; vesicle fusion; vibrational spectroscopy; light scattering; fluorescence; Mg
A nanosensory membrane device was constructed for detecting liposome fusion through changes in an enzymatic activity. Inspired by a biological signal transduction system, the device design involved functionalized liposomal membranes prepared by self-assembly of the following molecular components: a synthetic peptide lipid and a phospholipid as matrix membrane components, a Schiff's base of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate with phosphatidylethanolamine as a thermo-responsive artificial receptor, NADH-dependent L-lactate dehydrogenase as a signal amplifier, and Cu2+ ion as a signal mediator between the receptor and enzyme. The enzymatic activity of the membrane device was adjustable by changing the matrix lipid composition, reflecting the thermotropic phase transition behavior of the lipid membranes, which in turn controlled receptor binding affinity toward the enzyme-inhibiting mediator species. When an effective fusogen anionic polymer was added to these cationic liposomes, membrane fusion occurred, and the functionalized liposomal membranes responded with changes in enzymatic activity, thus serving as an effective nanosensory device for liposome fusion detection.
liposome; enzyme; liposome fusion; self-assembly; phase transition; molecular device
Apolipophorin III (apoLp-III) from Locusta migratoria was employed as a model apolipoprotein to gain insight into binding interactions with lipid vesicles. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to measure the binding interaction of apoLp-III with liposomes composed of mixtures of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) and sphingomyelin (SM). Association of apoLp-III with multilamellar liposomes occurred over a temperature range around the liquid crystalline phase transition (Lα). Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained from changes in the lipid phase transition upon addition of apoLp-III. Eleven ratios of DMPC and SM were tested from pure DMPC to pure SM. Broadness of the phase transition (T1/2), melting temperature of the phase transition (Tm) and enthalpy were used to determine the relative binding affinity to the liposomes. Multilamellar vesicles composed of 40% DMPC and 60% SM showed the greatest interaction with apoLp-III, indicated by large T1/2 values. Pure DMPC showed the weakest interaction and liposomes with lower percentage of DMPC retained domains of pure DMPC, even upon apoLp-III binding indicating demixing of liposome lipids. Addition of apoLp-III to rehydrated liposomes was compared to codissolved trials, in which lipids were rehydrated in the presence of protein, forcing the protein to interact with the lipid system. Similar trends between the codissolved and non-codissolved trials were observed, indicating a similar binding affinity except for pure DMPC. These results suggested that surface defects due to non-ideal packing that occur at the phase transition temperature of the lipid mixtures are responsible for apolipoprotein-lipid interaction in DMPC/SM liposomes.
apolipophorin; apolipoprotein; DSC; sphingomyelin; phosphatidylcholine; protein-membrane interactions
To determine the physical state of lipids in tendon xanthomata, six specimens surgically removed from three patients with familial hypercholesterolemia were studied by microscopy, calorimetry, and x-ray diffraction. The major constituents of the xanthomata were lipid (33% of dry weight) and collagen (24% of dry weight). The principal lipids were cholesterol ester and cholesterol. Light microscopy and thin-section electron microscopy showed occasional clusters of foam cells separated by masses of extracellular collagen. Polarized light microscopy of fresh, minced tissue showed rare droplets of free cholesterol ester. When heated, the tissue shrank abruptly at approximately equal to 70 degrees C and, consequently, a large amount of cholesterol ester was released. Scanning calorimetry of fresh pieces of xanthoma showed a single, broad, reversible liquid crystalline transition of cholesterol ester with peak temperature from 32 to 38 degrees C. The enthalpy (0971 +/- 0.07 cal/g) was reduced compared with the isolated cholesterol ester from each xanthoma (1.1+/-0.01 cal/g). There was a large irreversible collagen denaturation endotherm (peak temperature = 67 degrees C; enthalpy 9.9 cal/g collagen) that corresponded to the tissue shrinkage noted by microscopy. After the collagen denaturation, the sample displayed double-peaked reversible liquid crystalline transitions of cholesterol ester, of enthalpy 1.18 +/- 0.1 cal/g, that were identical to transitions of isolated cholesterol ester. Fibers dissected fron xanthomata were examined by X-ray diffraction at temperatures below and above the cholesterol ester transition. At 20 degrees C there was a weakly oriented equatorial reflection of Bragg spacing 36A, which corresponded to the smectic phase of cholesterol ester, and a series of oriented collagen reflections. At 42 degrees C the cholesterol ester reflection disappeared. Stretched fibers examined at 10 degrees C showed good orientation of collagen and cholesterol ester reflections, and in addition, meridional spacings which indicated oriented crystallization of cholesterol ester. These studies suggest that a major component of tendon xanthomata is extracellular cholesterol ester which displays altered melting and molecular orientation as a result of an interaction with collagen. At xanthoma temperatures, the cholesterol ester is in a smectic liquid crystalline state, probably layered between collagen fibrils, with the long axis of the cholesterolester molecules perpendicular to the axis of the collagen fiber. Such collagen-cholesterol ester interactions may favor the extracellular deposition of cholesterol ester derived either from intracellular sources or directly from plasma lipoproteins.
Recent experimental advances in vibrational spectroscopy, such as ultrafast pulses and heterodyne detection, have made it possible to probe the structure and dynamics of bulk and interfacial water in unprecedented detail. We consider three aqueous interfaces: the water liquid/vapor interface, the interface between water and the surfactant headgroups of reverse micelles, and the interface between water and the lipid headgroups of aligned multi-bilayers. In the first case, sum-frequency spectroscopy is used to probe the interface, while in the second and third cases, the confined water pools are sufficiently small that techniques of bulk spectroscopy such as FTIR, pump-probe, 2DIR, etc. can be used to probe the interfacial water. In this review, we discuss our attempts to model these three systems and interpret the existing experiments. In particular, for the water liquid/vapor interface we find that three-body interactions are essential for reproducing the experimental sum-frequency spectrum, and presumably for the structure of the interface as well. The observed spectrum is interpreted as arising from overlapping and cancelling positive and negative contributions from molecules in different hydrogen-bonding environments. For the reverse micelles, our theoretical models confirm that the experimentally observed blue shift of the water OD stretch (for dilute HOD in H2O) arises from weaker hydrogen bonding to sulfonate oxygens. We interpret the observed slow-down in water rotational dynamics as arising from curvature-induced frustration. For the water confined between lipid bilayers, our theoretical models confirm that the experimentally observed red shift of the water OD stretch arises from stronger hydrogen bonding to phosphate oxygens. We develop a model for heterogeneous vibrational lifetime distributions, and implement the model to calculate isotropic and anisotropic pump-probe decays, and compare with experiment.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a highly sensitive technique to study the thermotropic properties of many different biological macromolecules and extracts. Since its early development, DSC has been applied to the pharmaceutical field with excipient studies and DNA drugs. In recent times, more attention has been applied to lipid-based drug delivery systems and drug interactions with biomimetic membranes. Highly reproducible phase transitions have been used to determine values, such as, the type of binding interaction, purity, stability, and release from a drug delivery mechanism. This review focuses on the use of DSC for biochemical and pharmaceutical applications.
Differential scanning calorimetry; drug; macromolecule; lipid; antimicrobial peptide; drug development; pharmaceutical; drug characterization; nanoparticles
The physiological characteristics that distinguish archaeal and bacterial lipids, as well as those that define thermophilic lipids, are discussed from three points of view that (1) the role of the chemical stability of lipids in the heat tolerance of thermophilic organisms: (2) the relevance of the increase in the proportion of certain lipids as the growth temperature increases: (3) the lipid bilayer membrane properties that enable membranes to function at high temperatures. It is concluded that no single, chemically stable lipid by itself was responsible for the adaptation of surviving at high temperatures. Lipid membranes that function effectively require the two properties of a high permeability barrier and a liquid crystalline state. Archaeal membranes realize these two properties throughout the whole biological temperature range by means of their isoprenoid chains. Bacterial membranes meet these requirements only at or just above the phase-transition temperature, and therefore their fatty acid composition must be elaborately regulated. A recent hypothesis sketched a scenario of the evolution of lipids in which the “lipid divide” emerged concomitantly with the differentiation of archaea and bacteria. The two modes of thermal adaptation were established concurrently with the “lipid divide.”
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a common clinical problem that is often associated with evaporative dry eye disease. Alterations of the lipids of the meibomian glands have been identified in several studies of MGD. This prospective, observational, open label clinical trial documents the improvement in both clinical signs and symptoms of disease as well as spectroscopic behavior of the meibomian gland lipids after therapy with topical azithromycin ophthalmic solution.
Subjects with symptomatic MGD were recruited. Signs of MGD were evaluated with a slit lamp. Symptoms of MGD were measured by the response of subjects to a questionnaire. Meibum lipid (ML) lipid-lipid interaction strength, conformation and phase transition parameters were measured using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
In subjects with clinical evidence of MGD changes in ordering of the lipids and resultant alteration of phase transition temperature were identified. Topical therapy with azithromycin relieved signs and symptoms and restored the lipid properties of the meibomian gland secretion towards normal.
Improvement in phase transition temperature of the meibomian gland lipid with the determined percent trans rotomer composition of the lipid strongly suggests that the ordering of the lipid molecules is altered in the disease state (MGD) and that azithromycin can improve that abnormal condition toward normal in a manner that correlates with clinical response to therapy.
Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a persistent environmental pollutant that may cause adverse health effects in humans and animals by interacting with and disturbing of the normal properties of biological lipid assemblies. To gain further insights into these interactions, we investigated the effect of PFOS potassium salt on dimyristoyl- (DMPC), dipalmitoyl- (DPPC) and distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC) model membranes using fluorescence anisotropy measurements and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and on the cell membrane of HL-60 human leukemia cells and freshly isolated rat alveolar macrophages using fluorescence anisotropy measurements. PFOS caused a concentration-dependent decrease of the main phase transition temperature (Tm) and an increased peak width (ΔTw) in both the fluorescence anisotropy and the DSC experiments, with a rank order DMPC > DPPC > DSPC. PFOS caused a fluidization of the gel phase of all phosphatidylcholines investigated, but had the opposite effect on the liquid crystalline phase. The apparent partition coefficients of PFOS between the phosphatidylcholine bilayer and the bulk aqueous phase were largely independent of the phosphatidylcholine chain length and ranged from 4.4 × 104 to 8.8 × 104. PFOS also significantly increased the fluidity of membranes of cells. These findings suggest that PFOS readily partitions into lipid assemblies, independent of their composition, and may cause adverse biological effects by altering their fluidity in a manner that depends on the membrane cooperativity and state (e.g., gel versus liquid crystalline phase) of the lipid assembly.
Fluorescence anisotropy; differential scanning calorimetry; cooperativity; phosphatidylcholines; DPH; TMA-DPH; HL-60 human leukemia cells; alveolar macrophages
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and cryomicroscopy were used to define the process of cellular injury during freezing in LNCaP prostate tumor cells, at the molecular level. Cell pellets were monitored during cooling at 2°C/min while the ice nucleation temperature was varied between −3 and −10°C. We show that the cells tend to dehydrate precipitously after nucleation unless intracellular ice formation occurs. The predicted incidence of intracellular ice formation rapidly increases at ice nucleation temperatures below −4°C and cell survival exhibits an optimum at a nucleation temperature of −6°C. The ice nucleation temperature was found to have a great effect on the membrane phase behavior of the cells. The onset of the liquid crystalline to gel phase transition coincided with the ice nucleation temperature. In addition, nucleation at −3°C resulted in a much more co-operative phase transition and a concomitantly lower residual conformational disorder of the membranes in the frozen state compared to samples that nucleated at −10°C. These observations were explained by the effect of the nucleation temperature on the extent of cellular dehydration and intracellular ice formation. Amide-III band analysis revealed that proteins are relatively stable during freezing and that heat-induced protein denaturation coincides with an abrupt decrease in α-helical structures and a concomitant increase in β-sheet structures starting at an onset temperature of approximately 48°C.
cryosurgery; cryopreservation; FTIR; membrane phase behavior; prostate tumor cells; protein denaturation
The physical states and phase behavior of the lipids of the spleen, liver, and splenic artery from a 38-yr-old man with Tangier disease were studied. Many intracellular lipid droplets in the smectic liquid crystalline state were identified by polarizing microscopy in macrophages in both the spleen and liver, but not in the splenic artery. The droplets within individual cells melted sharply over a narrow temperature range, indicating a uniform lipid composition of the droplets of each cell. However different cells melted over a wide range, 20-53°C indicating heterogeneity of lipid droplet composition between cells. Furthermore, most of the cells (81%) had droplets in the liquid crystalline state at 37°C. X-ray diffraction studies of splenic tissue at 37°C revealed a diffraction pattern typical of cholesterol esters in the smectic liquid crystalline state. Differential scanning calorimetry of spleen showed a broad reversible transition from 29-52°C, with a maximum mean transition temperature at 42°C, correlating closely with the polarizing microscopy observations. The enthalpy of the transition, 0.86±0.07 cal/g of cholesterol ester, was quantitatively similar to that of the liquid crystalline to liquid transition of pure cholesterol esters indicating that nearly all of the cholesterol esters in the tissue were free to undergo the smectic-isotropic phase transition.
Lipid compositions of spleen and liver were determined, and when plotted on the cholesterol-phospholipid-cholesterol ester phase diagram, fell within the two phase zone. The two phases, cholesterol ester droplets and phospholipid bilayers were isolated by ultracentrifugation of tissue homogenates. Lipid compositions of the separated phases approximated those predicted by the phase diagram. Extracted lipids from the spleen, when dispersed in water and ultracentrifuged, underwent phase separation in a similar way. Thus (a) most of the storage lipids in the liver and spleen of this patient were in the liquid crystalline state at body temperature, (b) the phase behavior of the storage lipids conformed to that predicted by lipid model systems indicating lipid-lipid interactions predominate in affected cells, (c) lipid droplets within individual cells have similar compositions, whereas droplet composition varies from cell to cell, and (d) cholesterol ester does not accumulate in the splenic artery. Since Tangier patients lack high density lipoprotein, we conclude that high density lipoprotein-mediated cholesterol removal from cells is essential only for those cells which have an obligate intake of cholesterol (macrophages).
Temperature-induced phase transitions estimated by electron spin resonance (ESR) technique were ohscrved in the lipids of several nematode species. In both Meloidogyne javanica and Caenorhahditis elegans, there was a phase transition in their phospholipids from a liquid-crystalline state to a solid gel state at about 10 C. Aphelenchus avenae also had a phase transition, but at about 20 C. With this species, the spin-label motion parameters indicated the transition was from the liquid-crystalline state below 20 C to a more liquid or disordered state above 20 C. Anguina tritici and Meloidogyne hapla, in contrast, had no phase transitions over the entire temperature range studied. Each phase transition detected by ESR was reflected in the respiratory rates of the nematodes, and the temperature of the transition coincides with the environmental adaptation of these species.