Hydrophobic lipid additives affect membrane stability and phase behavior of N-monomethyldioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine.

PMID 1731922


The rate of formation of high-curvature intermediates or disordered cubic phases in N-methyldioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (N-methyl-DOPE) dispersions with or without additives was studied by 31P NMR spectroscopy. In N-methyl-DOPE dispersions, both the L alpha liquid-crystalline phase and the hexagonal HII phase convert into phases of high curvature giving rise to isotropic 31P NMR resonances. Addition of the bilayer destabilizers 1,2-diolein, 1,3-diolein, or eicosane lowers the threshold temperature of the isotropic phase. The isotropic threshold temperature is strongly correlated with the L alpha-HII phase transition temperature (TH). The addition of hexagonal phase promoters does not change the rate of formation of the isotropic phase at a temperature shifted by a fixed amount below TH. However, the formation of "isotropic" phases from the additive-stabilized hexagonal phase is slow compared to that observed in pure N-methyl-DOPE lipid dispersions. Membrane leakage and fusion are promoted by the dioleins and well as by eicosane, but changes in the rates of these processes do not correlate well with the extent of formation of isotropic phases. All three additives have similar effects on phase behavior and on vesicle leakage and fusion. These similarities occur despite the fact that eicosane is believed to partition differently into the membrane than diolein. In addition to the general similarities in the effects of the two diolein isomers, 1,2-diolein is somewhat more potent in promoting the hexagonal phase and in increasing rates of leakage and fusion than is 1,3-diolein.

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