Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Journal Article

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Biophysical Journal





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Time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy of the sterol analogue, cholestatrienol, and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spin lattice relaxation time (T1c) measurements of [13C4] labeled cholesterol were exploited to determine the correlation times characterizing the major modes of motion of cholesterol in unsonicated phospholipid multilamellar liposomes. Two modes of motion were found to be important: (a) rotational diffusion and (b) time dependence of the orientation of the director for axial diffusion, or "wobble." From the time-resolved fluorescence anisotropy decays of cholestatrienol in egg phosphatidylcholine (PC) bilayers, a value for tau perpendicular, the correlation time for wobble, of 0.9 x 10(-9) s and a value for S perpendicular, the order parameter characterizing the same motion, of 0.45 s were calculated. Both tau perpendicular and S perpendicular were relatively insensitive to temperature and cholesterol content of the membranes. The T1c measurements of [13C4] labeled cholesterol did not provide a quantitative determination of tau parallel, the correlation time for axial diffusion. T1c from the lipid hydrocarbon chains suggested a value for tau perpendicular similar to that for cholesterol. Steady-state anisotropy measurements and time-resolved anisotropy measurements of cholestatrienol were used to probe sterol behavior in a variety of pure and mixed lipid multilamellar liposomes. Both the lipid headgroups and the lipid hydrocarbons chains contributed to the determination of the sterol environment in the membrane, as revealed by these fluorescence measurements. In particular, effects of the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) headgroup and of multiple unsaturation in the lipid hydrocarbon chains were observed. However, while the steady-state anisotropy was sensitive to these factors, the time-resolved fluorescence analysis indicated that tau perpendicular was not strongly affected by the lipid composition of the membrane. S perpendicular may be increased by the presence of PE. Both steady-state anisotropy measurements and time-resolved anisotropy measurements of cholestatrienol were used to probe sterol behavior in three biological membranes: bovine rod outer segment (ROS) disk membranes, human erythrocyte plasma membranes, and light rabbit muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. In the ROS disk membranes the value for S perpendicular was marginally higher than in the PC membranes, perhaps reflecting the influence of PE. The dramatic difference noted was in the value for tau perpendicular. In both the ROS disk membranes and the erythrocyte membranes, tau perpendicular was one-third to one-fifth of tau perpendicular in the phospholipid bilayers. This result may reveal an influence of membrane proteins on sterol behavior.

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Date Posted: 01 March 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.