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Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2011;4:343-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev-anchem-061010-114048.

Vibrational spectroscopy of biomembranes.

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1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA. Schultz.41@nd.edu

Abstract

Vibrational spectroscopy, commonly associated with IR absorption and Raman scattering, has provided a powerful approach for investigating interactions between biomolecules that make up cellular membranes. Because the IR and Raman signals arise from the intrinsic properties of these molecules, vibrational spectroscopy probes the delicate interactions that regulate biomembranes with minimal perturbation. Numerous innovative measurements, including nonlinear optical processes and confined bilayer assemblies, have provided new insights into membrane behavior. In this review, we highlight the use of vibrational spectroscopy to study lipid-lipid interactions. We also examine recent work in which vibrational measurements have been used to investigate the incorporation of peptides and proteins into lipid bilayers, and we discuss the interactions of small molecules and drugs with membrane structures. Emerging techniques and measurements on intact cellular membranes provide a prospective on the future of vibrational spectroscopic studies of biomembranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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