Measurement of forces between and within bilayers of neutral phospholipids
McAlister, Michael James.
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Phospholipids in water form lamellar phases made up of alternating layers of water and bimolecular lipid leaflets. Three complementary methods, osmotic, mechanical, and vapour pressures, were used to measure the work of removing water from lamellar phases composed of frozen dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine ( DPPC ), melted DPPC, egg phosphatidylethanolamine or equimolar mixtures of DPPC and cholesterol ( DPPC/CHOL ), Concurrently the structural changes that resulted from this water removal were measured using X-ray diffraction. The work was divided into that which forces the bilayers together ( F ) and that which compresses the molecules together within the bilayers ( F )# A large repulsive force exists between bilayers composed of each of the lipids studied and this force increases exponentially as bilayer separation is decreased. F is affected by the nature of the head groups, conformation of the acyl chains and heterogeneity of these chains. In general all of the melted phosphatidylcholines ( melted DPPC, egg lecithin and DPPC/CHOL ) have large equilibrium separations in excess water resulting from large repulsive hydration forces between these bilayers. By comparison, egg PE has an increased attractive force, and frozen DPPC has a decreased hydration force; each results in smaller separations in water for these two lipids. The chemical potentials of the water between the bilayers for all these lipids lie on a continuum, indicating that interbilayer water cannot be characterized by two discrete states, usually referred to as "bound" or "non**bound". For all lipids studied a maximum of 25 % of the total work done on the system goes into deforming the bilayers. The method used here viii to separate repulsion from deformation, developed for us by v. A. Parsegian, provides a unique method for the measurement of lateral pressure of a bilayer and its modulus of deformability ( Y ). Lateral pressure is affected by the nature of the head group, conformation and heterogeneity of the acyl chains. For small changes in molecular surface area ( A ) near equilibrium, both melted and frozen DPPC have similar values for the deformability modulus. Thus in this regime it requires about the same force to change the angle of tilt of frozen chains as it does to compress the fluid bilayer. The introduction of cholesterol into bilayers of DPPC reduces dramatically the lateral pressure of the bilayers over a large range of molecular surface areas ( A ). The variation in the magnitude of bilayer repulsion with different phospholipids provides a basis for the mechanism of lipid segregation in mixed lipid systems and suggests that interacting heterogeneous membranes may influence or modulate the composition of the opposing membrane. The measurements of deformabilities of bilayers provides a direct comparison of them with the properties of monolayers.