European biophysics journal : EBJ

Spontaneous transfer of stearic acids between human serum albumin and PEG:2000-grafted DPPC membranes.

PMID 19350232


Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is used to study the transfer of stearic acids between human serum albumin (HSA) and sterically stabilized liposomes (SSL) composed of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and of submicellar content of poly(ethylene glycol:2000)-dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine (PEG:2000-DPPE). Protein/lipid dispersions are considered in which spin-labelled stearic acids at the 16th carbon atom along the acyl chain (16-SASL) are inserted either in the protein or in the SSL. Two component ESR spectra with different rotational mobility are obtained over a broad range of temperature and membrane composition. Indeed, superimposed to an anisotropic protein-signal, appears a more isotropic lipid-signal. Since in the samples only one matrix (protein or membranes) is spin-labelled, the other component accounts for the transfer of 16-SASL between albumin and membranes. The two components have been resolved and quantified by spectral subtractions, and the fraction, f (p) (16-SASL), of spin labels bound non-covalently to the protein has been used to monitor the transfer. It is found that it depends on the type of donor and acceptor matrix, on the physical state of the membranes and on the grafting density of the polymer-lipids. Indeed, it is favoured from SSL to HSA and the fraction of stearic acids transferred increases with temperature in both directions of transfer. Moreover, in the presence of polymer-lipids, the transfer from HSA to SSL is slightly attenuated, especially in the brush regime of the polymer-chains. Instead, the transfer from SSL to HSA is favoured by the polymer-lipids much more in the mushroom than in the brush regime.