Home General Physiology and Biophysics 2009 General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.28, No.2, p.117–125, 2009

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Quarterly, 80 pp. per issue
Founded: 1982
ISSN  1338-4325 (online)

Published in English

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General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.28, No.2, p.117–125, 2009

Title: What determines the thickness of a biological membrane
Author: Norbert Kucerka, Mu-Ping Nieh, Jeremy Pencer, Jonathan N. Sachs, John Katsaras

Abstract: Membrane thickness is thought to play a key role in protein function. Thus understanding the cell’s ability to modulate the thickness of its membranes is essential in elucidating the structure/function relationship in biological membranes. We have investigated the influence of cholesterol on the structure of “thin” (diC14:1PC) and “thick” (diC22:1PC) phospholipid bilayers using oriented multibilayers and small angle neutron diffraction. Neutron contrast variation was used to determine the structure factors and the distribution of water across the bilayers. We found that in response to cholesterol, bilayer thickness changed in a similar fashion in both systems. The thickening of bilayers was rationalized in terms of cholesterol’s ordering effect on the lipid’s acyl chains, which dominates over the other option of rectifying the hydrophobic mismatch, surprisingly even in the case of diC22:1PC and cholestero

Keywords: Phospholipid bilayer — Cholesterol — Bilayer thickness — Neutron diffraction — Contrast variation
Year: 2009, Volume: 28, Issue: 2 Page From: 117, Page To: 125

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