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Gen Physiol Biophys. 2006 Sep;25(3):313-24.

Influence of membrane phospholipid composition and structural organization on spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes.

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Biological Faculty, Sofia University, Dragan Tzankov str. 8, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria.


Investigations were carried out on the influence of phospholipid composition of model membranes on the processes of spontaneous lipid transfer between membranes. Acceptor vesicles were prepared from phospholipids extracted from plasma membranes of control and ras-transformed fibroblasts. Acceptor model membranes with manipulated levels of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), sphingomyelin and phosphatidic acid were also used in the studies. Donor vesicles were prepared of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and contained two fluorescent lipid analogues, NBD-PC and N-Rh-PE, at a self-quenching concentration. Lipid transfer rate was assessed by measuring the increase of fluorescence in acceptor membranes due to transfer of fluorescent lipid analogues from quenched donor to unquenched acceptor vesicles. The results showed that spontaneous NBD-PC transfer increased upon fluidization of acceptor vesicles. In addition, elevation of PE concentration in model membranes was also accompanied by an increase of lipid transfer to all series of acceptor vesicles. The results are discussed with respect to the role of lipid composition and structural order of cellular plasma membranes in the processes of spontaneous lipid exchange between membrane bilayers.

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