Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Physical properties of the lipid bilayer membrane made of cortical and nuclear bovine lens lipids: EPR spin-labeling studies. Biochim Biophys Acta 2009 Nov;1788(11):2380-8



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID





The physical properties of membranes derived from the total lipids extracted from the lens cortex and nucleus of a 2-year-old cow were investigated using EPR spin-labeling methods. Conventional EPR spectra and saturation-recovery curves show that spin labels detect a single homogenous environment in membranes made from cortical lipids. Properties of these membranes are very similar to those reported by us for membranes made of the total lipid extract of 6-month-old calf lenses (J. Widomska, M. Raguz, J. Dillon, E. R. Gaillard, W. K. Subczynski, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1768 (2007) 1454-1465). However, in membranes made from nuclear lipids, two domains were detected by the EPR discrimination by oxygen transport method using the cholesterol analogue spin label and were assigned to the bulk phospholipid-cholesterol domain (PCD) and the immiscible cholesterol crystalline domain (CCD), respectively. Profiles of the order parameter, hydrophobicity, and the oxygen transport parameter are practically identical in the bulk PCD when measured for either the cortical or nuclear lipid membranes. In both membranes, lipids in the bulk PCD are strongly immobilized at all depths. Hydrophobicity and oxygen transport parameter profiles have a rectangular shape with an abrupt change between the C9 and C10 positions, which is approximately where the steroid ring structure of cholesterol reaches into the membrane. The permeability coefficient for oxygen, estimated at 35 degrees C, across the bulk PCD in both membranes is slightly lower than across the water layer of the same thickness. However, the evaluated upper limit of the permeability coefficient for oxygen across the CCD (34.4 cm/s) is significantly lower than across the water layer of the same thickness (85.9 cm/s), indicating that the CCD can significantly reduce oxygen transport in the lens nucleus.

Author List

Raguz M, Widomska J, Dillon J, Gaillard ER, Subczynski WK


Witold K. Subczynski PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Cell Membrane
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
Lens Cortex, Crystalline
Lens Nucleus, Crystalline
Lipid Bilayers
Spin Labels