• The structural effects of divalent cations and insulin on phospholipid model membranes /

      SenGupta, Sutapa.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1971-06-29)
      It is well accepted that structural studies with model membranes are of considerable value in understanding the structure of biological membranes. Many studies with models of pure phospholipids have been done; but the effects of divalent cations and protein on these models would make these studies more applicable to intact membrane. The present study, performed with above view, is a structural analysis of divalent io~cardio1ipin complexes using the technique of x-ray diffraction. Cardiolipin, precipitated from dilute solution by divalent ionscalcium, magnesium and barium, contains little water and the structure formed is similar to the structure of pure cardiolipin with low water content. The calcium-cardiolipin complex forms a pure hexagonal type II phase that exists from 40 to 400 C. The molar ratio of calcium and cardiolipin in the complex is 1 : 1. Cardiolipin, precipitated with magnesium and barium forms two co-existing phases, lamellar and hexagonal, the relative quantity of the two phases being dependent on temperature. The hexagonal phase type II consisting of water filled channels formed by adding calcium to cardiolipin may have a remarkable permeability property in intact membrane. Pure cardiolipin and insulin at pH 3.0 and 4.0 precipitate but form no organised structure. Lecithin/cardiolipin and insulin precipitated at pH 3.0 give a pure lamellar phase. As the lecithin/cardiolipin molar ratio changes from 93/7 to SO/50, (a) the repeat distance of the lamellar changes from 72.8 X to 68.2 A; (b) the amount of protein bound increases in such a way that cardiolipin/insulin molar ratio in the complex reaches a maximum constant value at lecithin/cardiolipin molar ratio 70/30. A structural model based on these data shows that the molecular arrangement of lipid and protein is a lipid bilayer coated with protein molecules. The lipid-protein interaction is chiefly electrostatic and little, if any, hydrophobic bonding occurs in this particular system. So, the proposed model is essentially the same as Davson-Daniellifs model of biological membrane.