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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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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
11 Mar 2013
Accepted
08 Aug 2013
First published
09 Aug 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 9342-9351
Article type
Paper

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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