Small-scale structure in fluid cholesterol-lipid bilayers

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Journal titleCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Pages440447; # of pages: 8
SubjectCorrelation function; Liquid-ordered phase; Molecular modeling studies; Neutron diffraction studies; Quantitative assessments; Raft; Small-scale structures; Structured liquids; Cell membranes; Computer simulation; Lipid bilayers; Neutron diffraction; Neutron scattering; Cholesterol; cholesterol; lipid; cell function; cell membrane; chemical structure; computer simulation; controlled study; lipid bilayer; lipid raft; membrane permeability; molecular dynamics; molecular model; neutron diffraction; neutron scattering; protein domain; review; small scale structure; thickness
AbstractCholesterol is the single most abundant molecule in animal plasma membranes, in the range of 20-30. mol%, where it is known to modulate the lipid-bilayer component of the membrane and lead to increased mechanical stability, lower permeability, larger thickness, and a distinct lateral organization. The phase equilibria of membranes with cholesterol and the associated large- and small-scale structure have turned out to be a particularly elusive problem. With the proposal that lipid domains and so-called 'rafts', characterized by high local levels of cholesterol in a liquid-ordered phase, are important for a wide range of cellular functions, an understanding and a quantitative assessment of the nature of these cholesterol-induced structures and their types of ordering have become urgent. Recent progress in neutron diffraction studies of lipid-cholesterol model membranes has now revealed details of the lateral ordering, and combined with earlier molecular model studies a picture emerges of the membrane as a locally structured liquid with small ordered 'domains' of a highly dynamic nature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre (CNBC-CCFN)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269965
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Record identifier41f9ae2f-3fd2-466d-afe0-e9e2f4ea376b
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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