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Biophys Chem. 1990 Jan;35(1):65-73.

Abscisic acid-induced microheterogeneity in phospholipid vesicles. A fluorescence study.

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Istituto di Medicina Sperimentale, CNR, Roma, Italy.


Changes in the thermal behavior of DMPC (dimyristoyl-L-phosphatidylcholine) and an equimolar mixture of DMPC and DMPE (dimyristoyl-L-phosphatidylethanolamine) induced by the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) have been investigated using fluorescent probes. The fluorescence decay of the hydrophobic probe 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) in these vesicles has been measured using frequency-domain fluorometry, and has been analyzed using both models of discrete exponential components and continuous lifetime distributions. In the DMPC vesicles, using the distributional approach, higher center and width values were observed in the presence of abscisic acid (ABA), indicating a decrease in the dielectric constant of the lipid phase that we attribute to a decrease in the water concentration within the bilayer. Moreover, the presence of ABA in the liposomes increased the phospholipid phase transition temperature. The addition of ABA to the DMPC/DMPE mixture strongly increased the microheterogeneity of the system as reported by the FWHM (full-width at half-maximum) of the distributional approach.

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