Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 2011 Sep 21;101(6):1376-84. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.07.051. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Oxidized phosphatidylcholines facilitate phospholipid flip-flop in liposomes.

Author information

Helsinki Biophysics and Biomembrane Group, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.


Lipid asymmetry is a ubiquitous property of the lipid bilayers in cellular membranes and its maintenance and loss play important roles in cell physiology, such as blood coagulation and apoptosis. The resulting exposure of phosphatidylserine on the outer surface of the plasma membrane has been suggested to be caused by a specific membrane enzyme, scramblase, which catalyzes phospholipid flip-flop. Despite extensive research the role of scramblase(s) in apoptosis has remained elusive. Here, we show that phospholipid flip-flop is efficiently enhanced in liposomes by oxidatively modified phosphatidylcholines. A combination of fluorescence spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the mechanistic basis for this property of oxidized phosphatidylcholines is due to major changes imposed by the oxidized phospholipids on the biophysical properties of lipid bilayers, resulting in a fast cross bilayer diffusion of membrane phospholipids and loss of lipid asymmetry, requiring no scramblase protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

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