Effects of uranyl ions on lipid bilayer membranes

Hagai Ginsburg, J. Mario Wolosin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Uranyl ions (UO22+) stabilize black lipid membranes (BLM's) as inferred from the doubling of the breakdown voltage and from a considerable increase in the lifetime of the BLM's. These effects are observed also in BLM's made of mono-olein and of oxidized cholesterol. The lytic effect of lysolecithin is significantly reduced in the presence of UO22+. Uranyl ions adsorb to the interface of BLM's made of phosphatidylcholine (PC) with a dissociation constant of about 3 : 10-6 M and thereby charge the interface of the membrane and attain almost stoichiometric binding of one molecule of uranyl ion per one molecule of PC at 1 M ionic strength and 20 μM of UO22+. The membrane conductance induced by ionophores is considerably reduced by UO22+ and it is inferred by various tests that this is due to the charging of the interface and not to changes in membrane fluidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of uranyl ions on lipid bilayer membranes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this