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Monitoring the looping up of acyl chain labeled NBD lipids in membranes as a function of membrane phase state.

Biochimica et biophysica acta (2007-03-17)
H Raghuraman, Sandeep Shrivastava, Amitabha Chattopadhyay
ABSTRACT

Lipids that are labeled with the NBD (7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl) group are widely used as fluorescent analogues of native lipids in biological and model membranes to monitor a variety of processes. The NBD group of acyl chain labeled NBD lipids is known to loop up to the membrane interface in fluid phase membranes. However, the organization of these lipids in gel phase membranes is not resolved. In this paper, we monitored the influence of the membrane phase state on the looping up behavior of acyl chain labeled NBD lipids utilizing red edge excitation shift (REES) and other sensitive fluorescence approaches. Interestingly, our REES results indicate that NBD group of lipids, which are labeled at the fatty acyl region, resides in the more hydrophobic region in gel phase membranes, and complete looping of the NBD group occurs only in the fluid phase. This is supported by other fluorescence parameters such as polarization and lifetime. Taken together, our results demonstrate that membrane packing, which depends on temperature and the phase state of the membrane, significantly affects the localization of acyl chain labeled NBD lipids. In view of the wide ranging use of NBD-labeled lipids in cell and membrane biology, these results could have potentially important implications in future studies involving these lipids as tracers.