Lipid gymnastics: Evidence of complete acyl chain reversal in oxidized phospholipids from molecular simulations

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In oxidative environments, biomembranes contain oxidized lipids with short, polar acyl chains. Two stable lipid oxidation products are PoxnoPC and PazePC. PoxnoPC has a carbonyl group, and PazePC has an anionic carboxyl group pendant at the end of the short, oxidized acyl chain. We have used MD simulations to explore the possibility of complete chain reversal in OXPLs in POPC-OXPL mixtures. The polar AZ chain of PazePC undergoes chain reversal without compromising the lipid bilayer integrity at concentrations up to 25% OXPL, and the carboxyl group points into the aqueous phase. Counterintuitively, the perturbation of overall membrane structural and dynamic properties is stronger for PoxnoPC than for PazePC. This is because of the overall condensing and ordering effect of sodium ions bound strongly to the lipids in the PazePC simulations. The reorientation of AZ chain is similar for two different lipid force fields. This work provides the first molecular evidence of the "extended lipid conformation" in phospholipid membranes. The chain reversal of PazePC lipids decorates the membrane interface with reactive, negatively charged functional groups. Such chain reversal is likely to exert a profound influence on the structure and dynamics of biological membranes, and on membrane-associated biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2734-2743
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

ID: 230977004