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Biochimica et biophysica acta

Oxygenated cholesterols synergistically immobilize acyl chains and enhance protein helical structure in human erythrocyte membranes.


PMID 4052416

Abstract

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed that insertion of 20 alpha-hydroxycholesterol into human erythrocyte membranes (10% of total membrane sterol) immobilized the lipid acyl chains to a degree equivalent to enriching total membrane cholesterol by 50% (Rooney, M.W., Lange, Y. and Kauffman, J.W. (1984) J. Biol. Chem. 259, 8281-8285). Raman spectroscopy showed that the amount of acyl chain rotamers was not significantly altered by the presence of 20 alpha-hydroxycholesterol, indicating that acyl chain immobilization was limited to an inhibition of lateral motion. The presence of 20 alpha-hydroxycholesterol may synergistically enhance the acyl-chain-immobilizing behavior of membrane cholesterol. In addition, protein helical structure was not altered by 20 alpha-hydroxycholesterol. The insertion of 7 alpha-hydroxycholesterol into erythrocyte membranes resulted in an increase in protein helical structure which was comparable to that observed for erythrocyte membranes enriched with pure cholesterol by 50%. However, both acyl chain mobility and conformation were unchanged. These results suggest a synergistic behavior between oxysterols and cholesterol in modifying erythrocyte membrane packing.

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