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Mol Membr Biol. 2008 Sep;25(6-7):547-56. doi: 10.1080/09687680802520684.

The effect of dolichol on the structure and phase behaviour of phospholipid model membranes.

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State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China.


The effect of dolichol C(95) on the structure and thermotropic phase behaviour of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine and stearoyloleoylphosphatidylethanolamine has been examined by synchrotron X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. The presence of dolichol C(95) had no detectable effects on the temperature of either the gel to ripple or the ripple to liquid-crystal phase transition of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine. A proportionate increase of a few degrees in the temperature of the gel to lamellar liquid-crystal phase transition is observed in dispersions of dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine and significantly there is a decrease in the temperature of the lamellar to non-lamellar phase transition of stearoyloleoylphosphatidylethanolamine. There was no significant change in the bilayer repeat spacing of all three mixed dispersions in gel phase in the presence of up to 20 mol% dolichol C(95). Electron density calculations showed that there was no change of bilayer thickness of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine with incorporation of up to 7.5 mol% dolichol C(95). These data suggest that effect of dolichol on the phospholipid model membranes depend on both the head group and the hydrocarbon chains of the phospholipid molecules. The presence of dolichol in phosphatidylcholine bilayers conforms to a model in which the polyisoprene compound is phase separated into a central domain sandwiched between the two monolayers in gel phase. In bilayers of phosphatidylethanolamines dolichol tends to stabilize the bilayers in gel phase at low temperatures and destabilize the bilayers in lamellar disordered structure at high temperatures. Non-lamellar structures coexist with lamellar disordered phase over a wide temperature range suggesting that dolichol is enriched in domains of non-lamellar structure and depleted from lamellar phase. These findings are useful to understand the function of dolichol in cell membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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