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Title: Cholesterol enhances surface water diffusion of phospholipid bilayers

Elucidating the physical effect of cholesterol (Chol) on biological membranes is necessary towards rationalizing their structural and functional role in cell membranes. One of the debated questions is the role of hydration water in Chol-embedding lipid membranes, for which only little direct experimental data are available. Here, we study the hydration dynamics in a series of Chol-rich and depleted bilayer systems using an approach termed {sup 1}H Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP) NMR relaxometry that enables the sensitive and selective determination of water diffusion within 5–10 Å of a nitroxide-based spin label, positioned off the surface of the polar headgroups or within the nonpolar core of lipid membranes. The Chol-rich membrane systems were prepared from mixtures of Chol, dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine and/or dioctadecyl phosphatidylcholine lipid that are known to form liquid-ordered, raft-like, domains. Our data reveal that the translational diffusion of local water on the surface and within the hydrocarbon volume of the bilayer is significantly altered, but in opposite directions: accelerated on the membrane surface and dramatically slowed in the bilayer interior with increasing Chol content. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) lineshape analysis shows looser packing of lipid headgroups and concurrently tighter packing in the bilayer core with increasing Chol content,more » with the effects peaking at lipid compositions reported to form lipid rafts. The complementary capability of ODNP and EPR to site-specifically probe the hydration dynamics and lipid ordering in lipid membrane systems extends the current understanding of how Chol may regulate biological processes. One possible role of Chol is the facilitation of interactions between biological constituents and the lipid membrane through the weakening or disruption of strong hydrogen-bond networks of the surface hydration layers that otherwise exert stronger repulsive forces, as reflected in faster surface water diffusivity. Another is the concurrent tightening of lipid packing that reduces passive, possibly unwanted, diffusion of ions and water across the bilayer.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Materials Research Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106 (United States)
  2. Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry and Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB, Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22314268
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 22; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; CELL MEMBRANES; CHOLESTEROL; DIFFUSION; ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE; HYDRATION; INTERACTIONS; LECITHINS; LIQUIDS; MIXTURES; POLARIZATION; SPIN; SURFACES