Relationships between lipid membrane area, hydrophobic thickness, and acyl-chain orientational order: The effects of cholesterol

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • John Hjorth Ipsen
  • Ole G. Mouritsen
  • Myer Bloom

A microscopic interaction model for a fully hydrated lipid bilayer membrane containing cholesterol is used to calculate, as a function of temperature and composition, the membrane area, the membrane hydrophobic thickness, and the average acyl-chain orientational order parameter, S. The order parameter, S, is related to the first moment, M1, of the quadrupolar magnetic resonance spectrum which can be measured for lipids with perdeuterated chains. On the basis of these model calculations as well as recent experimental measurements of M1 using magnetic resonance and of membrane area using micromechanical measurements, a discussion of the possible relationships between membrane area, hydrophobic thickness, and moments of nuclear magnetic resonance spectra is presented. It is pointed out that S under certain circumstances may be useful for estimating the hydrophobic membrane thickness. This is particularly advantageous for multicomponent membranes where structural data are difficult to obtain by using diffraction techniques. The usefulness of the suggested relationships is demonstrated for cholesterol-containing bilayers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ID: 236894350