EMAIL THIS PAGE TO A FRIEND

Physical biology

The effects of 7-dehydrocholesterol on the structural properties of membranes.


PMID 21865621

Abstract

Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a congenital and developmental malformation disease, is typified by abnormal accumulation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC), the immediate precursor of cholesterol (CHOL), and depletion thereof. Knowledge of the effect of 7DHC on the biological membrane is, however, still fragmentary. In this study, large-scale atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, employing two distinct force fields, have been conducted to elucidate differences in the structural properties of a hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer due to CHOL and 7DHC. The present series of results indicate that CHOL and 7DHC possess virtually the same ability to condense and order membranes. Furthermore, the condensing and ordering effects are shown to be strengthened at increasing sterol concentrations.