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Physical properties of the lipid bilayer membrane made of calf lens lipids: EPR spin labeling studies. Biochim Biophys Acta 2007 Jun;1768(6):1454-65



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Pubmed Central ID





The physical properties of a membrane derived from the total lipids of a calf lens were investigated using EPR spin labeling and were compared with the properties of membranes made of an equimolar 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine/cholesterol (POPC/Chol) mixture and of pure POPC. Conventional EPR spectra and saturation-recovery curves show that spin labels detect a single homogenous environment in all three membranes. Profiles of the order parameter, hydrophobicity, and oxygen transport parameter are practically identical in lens lipid and POPC/Chol membranes, but differ drastically from profiles in pure POPC membranes. In both lens lipid and POPC/Chol membranes, the lipids are strongly immobilized at all depths, which is in contrast to the high fluidity of the POPC membrane. Hydrophobicity and oxygen transport parameter profiles in lens lipid and POPC/Chol membranes 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. At this position, hydrophobicity increases from the level of methanol to the level of hexane, and the oxygen transport parameter increases by a factor of 2-3. These profiles in POPC membranes are bell-shaped. It is concluded that the high level of cholesterol in lens lipids makes the membrane stable, immobile, and impermeable to both polar and nonpolar molecules.

Author List

Widomska J, Raguz M, 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

Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
Lens, Crystalline
Lipid Bilayers
Membrane Lipids
Molecular Structure
Spin Labels