Critical factors for detection of biphasic changes in membrane properties at specific sterol mole fractions for maximal superlattice formation

Berenice Venegas, István P. Sugár, Parkson Lee Gau Chong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Here we use the excitation generalized polarization (GPex) of 6-lauroyl-2-(dimethylamino)naphthalene (Laurdan) fluorescence in fluid cholesterol/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-L-α-phosphatidylcholine large unilamellar vesicles to explore the experimental conditions that would be required in order to detect a biphasic change in membrane properties at specific sterol mole fractions (Cr) (e.g., 20.0, 22.2, 25.0, 33.3, 40.0, and 50.0 mol %) for maximal sterol superlattice formation. Laurdan's GPex changes with sterol content in an alternating manner, showing minima (termed as GP ex dips) at ∼Cr. GPex dips are detectable if the vesicles are preincubated for a sufficient time period and protected from sterol oxidation. In most cases, vesicles with a higher lipid concentration take a longer time to show a GPex dip at Cr. The depth of the GPex dip increases with increasing incubation time and eventually reaches a plateau, at which the maximum area covered by superlattices is expected to be achieved. However, if the vesicles are not protected against sterol oxidation, the GPex dips are attenuated or obliterated. These effects can be attributed to the increased inter-bilayer lipid exchange and the increased vesicle-vesicle interactions present at high lipid (vesicle) concentrations as well as the decreased interactions between oxysterols and phospholipids. These possible explanations have been incorporated into a kinetic model that is able to calculate the effects of sterol oxidation and lipid concentration on the depth of the GPex dip. The depth of the GP ex dip, the required incubation time for the dip formation, and the lipid concentration dependence of the GPex dip vary with Cr, suggesting different physical properties for different sterol superlattices. To detect a biphasic change in membrane properties at Cr, one should also use small sterol mole fraction increments over a wide range, keep all of the vesicles in the same sample set under the same thermal history, and consider lipid concentration, probe type, and Cr value. These results improve our mechanistic understanding of sterol superlattice formation and explain why some studies, especially those requiring high lipid concentrations, did not detect a biphasic change in membrane properties at Cr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5180-5192
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume111
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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