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Issue 39, 2013
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Solubility of cholesterol in lipid membranes and the formation of immiscible cholesterol plaques at high cholesterol concentrations

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Abstract

The molecular in-plane and out-of-plane structure of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) membranes containing up to 60 mol% of cholesterol was studied using X-ray diffraction. Up to 37.5 mol% cholesterol could be dissolved in the membranes, resulting in a disordered lateral membrane structure. Highly ordered cholesterol structures were observed at cholesterol concentrations of more than 40 mol% cholesterol. These structures were characterized as immiscible cholesterol plaques, i.e., bilayers of cholesterol molecules coexisting with the lipid bilayer. The cholesterol molecules were found to form a monoclinic structure at 40 mol% cholesterol, which transformed into a triclinic arrangement at the highest concentration of 60 mol%. Monoclinic and triclinic structures were found to coexist at cholesterol concentrations between 50 and 55 mol%.

Graphical abstract: Solubility of cholesterol in lipid membranes and the formation of immiscible cholesterol plaques at high cholesterol concentrations

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Mar 2013, accepted on 08 Aug 2013 and first published on 09 Aug 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50700A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 9342-9351
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    Solubility of cholesterol in lipid membranes and the formation of immiscible cholesterol plaques at high cholesterol concentrations

    M. A. Barrett, S. Zheng, L. A. Toppozini, R. J. Alsop, H. Dies, A. Wang, N. Jago, M. Moore and M. C. Rheinstädter, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 9342
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50700A

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