Home FOR AUTHORS General Physiology and Biophysics 2009 General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.28, No.2, p.140–145, 2009

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Founded: 1982
ISSN  1338-4325 (online)

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General Physiology and Biophysics Vol.28, No.2, p.140–145, 2009

Title: A layer model of ethanol partitioning into lipid membranes
Author: David T. Nizza, Klaus Gawrisch

Abstract: The effect of membrane composition on ethanol partitioning into lipid bilayers was assessed by headspace gas chromatography. A series of model membranes with different compositions have been investigated. Membranes were exposed to a physiological ethanol concentration of 20 mmol/l. The concentration of membranes was 20 wt% which roughly corresponds to values found in tissue. Partitioning depended on the chemical nature of polar groups at the lipid/water interface. Compared to phosphatidylcholine, lipids with headgroups containing phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylserine, and sphingomyelin showed enhanced partitioning while headgroups containing phosphatidylethanolamine resulted in a lower partition coefficient. The molar partition coefficient was independent of a membrane’s hydrophobic volume. This observation is in agreement with our previously published NMR results which showed that ethanol resides almost exclusively within the membrane/water interface. At an ethanol concentration of 20 mmol/l in water, ethanol concentrations at the lipid/water interface are in the range from 30–15 mmol/l, corresponding to one ethanol molecule per 100–200 lipids.

Keywords: Ethanol — Lipid bilayer — Partitioning — Headspace gas chromatography
Year: 2009, Volume: 28, Issue: 2 Page From: 140, Page To: 145

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