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J Inorg Biochem. 1990 Nov;40(3):217-25.

Protection against membrane damage: a 1H-NMR investigation of the effect of Zn2+ and Ca2+ on the permeability of phospholipid vesicles.

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Department of Science and Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic of Wales, Pontypridd, Mid-Glamorgan.


1H-NMR spectroscopy of small, unilamellar dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) vesicles in conjunction with the lanthanide shift reagent Pr3+ was used to study the effect of Zn2+ and Ca2+ ions on the permeability induced at the lipid phase transition temperature (Tc) of the vesicles and by the bee venom polypeptide melittin. In addition, the effects of Zn2+ and Ca2+ were studied on Triton X-100 stabilized channels at Tc and in the presence of n-alcohols. The results show that the presence of 10 mM Zn2+ and Ca2+ inhibited most of the forms of vesicular permeability investigated. The results are discussed in terms of the nature of the binding of the metal ions to the vesicles and support the proposal that one biological function of Zn2+ and Ca2+ is protection against membrane damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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