Biochimica et biophysica acta

Methylation of ethanolamine groups in phosphoethanolamines is relevant for L-arginine insertion in lipid membranes.

PMID 22366203


The interaction of L-arginine with membranes composed by phospholipids with different degrees of methylation of the ethanolamine group was studied by means of surface and dipole potentials and surface pressure variations. The subsequent methylation of the amine head group appears to hinder the synergic response of the adsorption observed in phosphatidylethanolamine membranes. The kinetics of the binding process denotes that the methyl groups are relevant in regulating the specific interaction of the amino acid with the interface by hydrogen bonds. This response can be put in correlation with the function of signal transduction assigned previously to methyl lipids [F. Hirata and J. Axelrod, 1980] and appears to be relevant to understand the mechanism of insertion of arginine residues in peptides of biological interest.