Component and state separation in DMPC/DSPC lipid bilayers: A Monte Carlo simulation study

Ekaterina I. Michonova-Alexova, István P. Sugár

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38 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper a two-state, two-component, Ising-type model is used to simulate the lateral distribution of the components and gel/fluid state acyl chains in dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine/distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC/DSPC) lipid bilayers. The same model has been successful in calculating the excess heat capacity curves, the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) threshold temperatures, the most frequent center-to-center distances between DSPC clusters, and the fractal dimensions of gel clusters (Sugar, I. P., T. E. Thompson, and R. L. Biltonen, 1999. Biophys. J. 76:2099-2110). Depending on the temperature and mole fraction the population of the cluster size is either homogeneous or inhomogeneous. In the inhomogeneous population the size of the largest cluster scales with the size of the system, while the rest of the clusters remain small with increasing system size. In a homogeneous population, however, every cluster remains small with increasing system size. For both compositional and fluid/gel state clusters, threshold temperatures-the so-called percolation threshold temperatures-are determined where change in the type of the population takes place. At a given mole fraction, the number of percolation threshold temperatures can be 0, 1, 2, or 3. By plotting these percolation threshold temperatures on the temperature/mole fraction plane, the diagrams of component and state separation of DMPC/DSPC bilayers are constructed. In agreement with the small-angle neutron scattering measurements, the component separation diagram shows nonrandom lateral distribution of the components not only in the gel-fluid mixed phase region, but also in the pure gel and pure fluid regions. A combined diagram of component and state separation is constructed to characterize the lateral distribution of lipid components and gel/fluid state acyl chains in DMPC/DSPC mixtures. While theoretical phase diagrams of two component mixtures can be constructed only in the case of first-order transitions, state and component separation diagrams can be constructed whether or not the system is involved in first-order transition. The effects of interchain interactions on the component and state separation diagrams are demonstrated on three different models. The influences of state and component separation on the in-plane and off-plane membrane reactions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1820-1833
Number of pages14
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume83
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

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