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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1981 Jun 22;644(2):323-32.

Lipid structural order parameters (reciprocal of fluidity) in biomembranes derived from steady-state fluorescence polarization measurements.


This paper presents an interpretation of fluorescence polarization measurements in lipid membranes which are labelled with the apolar probe 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene. The steady-state fluorescence anisotropy, rs, is resolved into a fast decaying or kinetic component, rf, and an infinitely slow decaying or static component, r infinity. The latter contribution, which predominates in biological membranes, is exclusively determined by the degree of molecular packing (order) in the apolar regions of the membrane; r infinity is proportional to the square of the lipid order parameter. An empirical relation between rs and r infinity is presented, which is in agreement with a prediction based on a theory of rotational dynamics in liquid crystals. This relation enabled us to estimate a lipid structural order parameter directly from simple steady-state fluorescence polarization measurements in a variety of isolated biological membranes. It is shown that major factors determining the order parameter in biomembranes are the temperature, the cholesterol and sphingomyelin content and (in a few systems) the membrane intrinsic proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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