Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 2011 May 4;100(9):2169-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.03.019.

Effects of specific versus nonspecific ionic interactions on the structure and lateral organization of lipopolysaccharides.

Author information

Physical Chemistry I, Faculty of Chemistry, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany.


We report x-ray reflectivity and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction measurements of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) monolayers at the water-air interface. Our investigations reveal that the structure and lateral ordering of the LPS molecules is very different from phospholipid systems and can be modulated by the ionic strength of the aqueous subphase in an ion-dependent manner. Our findings also indicate differential effects of monovalent and divalent ions on the two-dimensional ordering of lipid domains. Na(+) ions interact unspecifically with LPS molecules based on their ability to efficiently screen the negative charges of the LPS molecules, whereas Ca(2+) ions interact specifically by cross-linking adjacent molecules in the monolayer. At low lateral pressures, Na(+) ions present in the subphase lead to a LPS monolayer structure ordered over large areas with high compressibility, nearly hexagonal packing of the hydrocarbon chains, and high density in the LPS headgroup region. At higher film pressures, the LPS monolayer becomes more rigid and results in a less perfect, oblique packing of the LPS hydrocarbon chains as well as a smaller lateral size of highly ordered domains on the monolayer. Furthermore, associated with the increased surface pressure, a conformational change of the sugar headgroups occurs, leading to a thickening of the entire LPS monolayer structure. The effect of Ca(2+) ions in the subphase is to increase the rigidity of the LPS monolayer, leading to an oblique packing of the hydrocarbon chains already at low film pressures, an upright orientation of the sugar moieties, and much smaller sizes of ordered domains in the plane of the monolayer. In the presence of both Na(+)- and Ca(2+) ions in the subphase, the screening effect of Na(+) is predominant at low film pressures, whereas, at higher film pressures, the structure and lateral organization of LPS molecules is governed by the influence of Ca(2+) ions. The unspecific charge-screening effect of the Na(+) ions on the conformation of the sugar moiety becomes less dominant at biologically relevant lateral pressures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center