Location of cholesterol in DMPC membranes. A comparative study by neutron diffraction and molecular mechanics simulation

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1021/la001382p
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TypeArticle
Journal titleLangmuir
ISSN0743-7463
Volume17
Issue6
Pages20192030; # of pages: 12
AbstractThe vertical location of 30 mol % cholesterol in a hydrated dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) membrane was determined by neutron diffraction on annealed samples containing deuterated or protonated cholesterol at 10, 20, 25, 30, and 50 C. The sterol was deuterium-labeled in positions 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, and 6, and proton-deuterium contrast techniques were used to locate the position of the labeled part of the steroid in the membrane. Cholesterol is found well embedded in the membrane, with ring A at 16.3 ? 0.5 ? from the bilayer center at 10 C. This location linearly decreases to 15.1 ? 0.5 ? at 50 C, demonstrating that the sterol is not expelled from the membrane on crossing the former gel-to-fluid phase transition of pure DMPC (24 C). Molecular dynamics were also performed on well-hydrated membranes in the presence and absence of cholesterol. Neutron scattering 1D profiles were then calculated for comparison with experimental neutron scattering data. The profile obtained from pure fluid-phase lipids is in nice agreement both in shape and in bilayer hydrophobic thickness with the experiment. The pure gel-phase calculation leads to the correct line shape but with an overestimated bilayer thickness. In the presence of cholesterol, only the calculation performed with initial gel-phase conditions leads to a hydrophobic thickness in agreement with neutron data. Ring A of cholesterol is found at 15.2 ? 0.5 ? at 10 C, underestimating the experimental value by only 1 ?. Molecular dynamics show that the hydroxyl group of cholesterol is hydrated and in such a proximity to the carboxyl oxygens of the phospholipids that it can make hydrogen bonds. The ability for molecular dynamics calculations on membranes to determine structural data in membranes is finally discussed.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences
Peer reviewedNo
Identifier10367391
NPARC number12339233
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Record identifier7bdd9611-fe56-4779-bca6-a67d6dba029d
Record created2009-09-11
Record modified2016-05-09
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