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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Jun 24;273(1):72-6.

Lipid peroxidation in small and large phospholipid unilamellar vesicles induced by water-soluble free radical sources.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore, 119260.


The susceptibility of small and large egg yolk phosphatidylcholine unilamellar vesicles to Fe(2+)/histidine-Fe(3+)- and Fenton reagent (Fe(2+)-H(2)O(2))-induced lipid peroxidation was evaluated by measuring the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). It has been found that surface curvature or phospholipid packing exerts significant effect on the oxidative susceptibility of the unsaturated lipid bilayers and the highly curved and loosely packed small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) exhibit much less resistance to the oxidative stress induced by the water-soluble free radical sources. The presence of lipid hydroperoxides in sonicated vesicles was excluded as the cause for higher level of lipid peroxidation in the phospholipid SUVs. Instead, the experimental results can be explained by the difference in ability of the water-soluble oxidants to penetrate the two types of lipid membranes. This hypothesis is supported by data obtained from fluorescence lifetime and quenching studies.

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