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Thermotropic properties of phosphatidylcholine nanodiscs bounded by styrene-maleic acid copolymers.

Chemistry and physics of lipids (2017-09-20)
J J Dominguez Pardo, J M Dörr, M F Renne, T Ould-Braham, M C Koorengevel, M J van Steenbergen, J A Killian
ABSTRACT

Styrene-maleic acid copolymers (SMA) have been gaining interest in the field of membrane research due to their ability to solubilize membranes into nanodics. The SMA molecules act as an amphipathic belt that surrounds the nanodiscs, whereby the hydrophobic styrene moieties can insert in between the lipid acyl chains. Here we used SMA variants with different styrene-to-maleic acid ratio (i.e. 2:1, 3:1 and 4:1) to investigate how lipid packing in the nanodiscs is affected by the presence of the polymers and how it depends on polymer composition. This was done by analyzing the thermotropic properties of a series of saturated phosphatidylcholines in nanodiscs using laurdan fluorescence and differential scanning calorimetry. In all cases it was found that the temperature of the main phase transition (T