Lipid structural diversity strongly affects biomembrane chemico-physical and structural properties in addition to membrane-associated events. At high concentrations, cholesterol increases membrane order and rigidity, while polyunsaturated lipids are reported to increase disorder and flexibility. How these different tendencies balance in composite bilayers is still controversial. In this study, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, small angle neutron scattering, and neutron reflectivity were used to investigate the structural properties of cholesterol-containing lipid bilayers in the fluid state with increasing amounts of polyunsaturated omega-3 lipids. Either the hybrid 1-stearoyl-2-docosahexaenoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine or the symmetric 1,2-docosahexaenoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine were added to the mixture of the naturally abundant 1-palmitoyl-2-oleyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and cholesterol. Our results indicate that the hybrid and the symmetric omega-3 phospholipids affect the microscopic organization of lipid bilayers differently. Cholesterol does not segregate from polyunsaturated phospholipids and, through interactions with them, is able to suppress the formation of non-lamellar structures induced by the symmetric polyunsaturated lipid. However, this order/disorder balance leads to a bilayer whose structural organization cannot be ascribed to either a liquid ordered or to a canonical liquid disordered phase, in that it displays a very loose packing of the intermediate segments of lipid chains.

Order vs. Disorder: Cholesterol and Omega-3 Phospholipids Determine Biomembrane Organization

Augusta de Santis;Luigi Paduano;Gerardino D’Errico
;
Irene Russo Krauss
2022

Abstract

Lipid structural diversity strongly affects biomembrane chemico-physical and structural properties in addition to membrane-associated events. At high concentrations, cholesterol increases membrane order and rigidity, while polyunsaturated lipids are reported to increase disorder and flexibility. How these different tendencies balance in composite bilayers is still controversial. In this study, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, small angle neutron scattering, and neutron reflectivity were used to investigate the structural properties of cholesterol-containing lipid bilayers in the fluid state with increasing amounts of polyunsaturated omega-3 lipids. Either the hybrid 1-stearoyl-2-docosahexaenoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine or the symmetric 1,2-docosahexaenoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine were added to the mixture of the naturally abundant 1-palmitoyl-2-oleyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and cholesterol. Our results indicate that the hybrid and the symmetric omega-3 phospholipids affect the microscopic organization of lipid bilayers differently. Cholesterol does not segregate from polyunsaturated phospholipids and, through interactions with them, is able to suppress the formation of non-lamellar structures induced by the symmetric polyunsaturated lipid. However, this order/disorder balance leads to a bilayer whose structural organization cannot be ascribed to either a liquid ordered or to a canonical liquid disordered phase, in that it displays a very loose packing of the intermediate segments of lipid chains.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/899880
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