Lateral Distribution of Cholesterol in Dioleoylphosphatidylcholine Lipid Bilayers: Cholesterol-Phospholipid Interactions at High Cholesterol Limit

Amanda Parker, Keith Miles, Kwan Hon Cheng, Juyang Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lateral organization of cholesterol in dioleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DOPC) lipid bilayers at high cholesterol concentration (>45 mol%) was investigated using steady-state fluorescence anisotropy and fluorescent resonance energy transfer techniques. The recently devised Low Temperature Trap method was used to prepare compositionally uniform cholesterol/DOPC liposomes to avoid the problem of lipid demixing. The fluorescence anisotropy of diphenylhexatrience chain-labeled phosphatidylcholine (DPH-PC) in these liposomes exhibited local maxima at cholesterol mol fractions of 0.50 and 0.57, and a sharp drop at 0.67. For the liposomes labeled with both dehydroergosterol and DPH-PC, the fluorescent resonance energy transfer efficiency from dehydroergosterol to DPH-PC displayed a steep jump at cholesterol mol fraction of 0.5, and dips at 0.57 and 0.68. These results indicate the presence of highly ordered cholesterol regular distribution domains at those observed critical compositions. The observed critical mol fraction at 0.67 agreed favorably with the solubility limit of cholesterol in DOPC bilayers as independently measured by light scattering and optical microscopy. The regular distribution at 0.57 was previously predicted from a Monte Carlo simulation based on the Umbrella model. The results strongly support the hypothesis that the primary requirement for cholesterol-phospholipid mixing is that the polar phospholipid headgroups need to cover the nonpolar body of cholesterol to avoid the exposure of cholesterol to water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1544
Number of pages13
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

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