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Issue 7, 2010
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Effect of cholesterol on the rigidity of saturated and unsaturated membranes: fluctuation and electrodeformation analysis of giant vesicles

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Abstract

Two different methods for measuring the bending stiffness of lipid membranes are used and further developed: fluctuation analysis and vesicle electrodeformation. For this purpose, fast camera imaging was employed minimizing the experimental effort. The methods were applied to study the effect of cholesterol on the bending stiffness of two types of membranes. We explored giant vesicles prepared from dioleoylphosphatidylcholinecholesterol and sphingomyelincholesterol mixtures. The results show that the effect of cholesterol on the bending stiffness is quite different and lipid-specific. While the bending stiffness of dioleoylphosphatidylcholine membranes does not change significantly, sphingomyelin membranes become more flexible with the addition of cholesterol. Finally, we report data on vesicles prepared from lipid extracts of the plasma membrane of human red blood cells and investigate the influence of naturally present transmembrane peptides. The latter molecules do not alter the membrane stiffness significantly.

Graphical abstract: Effect of cholesterol on the rigidity of saturated and unsaturated membranes: fluctuation and electrodeformation analysis of giant vesicles

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Oct 2009, accepted on 13 Jan 2010 and first published on 08 Feb 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B920629A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 1472-1482
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    Effect of cholesterol on the rigidity of saturated and unsaturated membranes: fluctuation and electrodeformation analysis of giant vesicles

    R. S. Gracià, N. Bezlyepkina, R. L. Knorr, R. Lipowsky and R. Dimova, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 1472
    DOI: 10.1039/B920629A

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