Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2008, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (07): 1149-1154.doi: 10.1016/S1872-1508(08)60050-9

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Liquid Ordered Phase of Binary Mixtures Containing Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and Sterols

GAO Wen-Ying; CHEN Lin; WU Fu-Gen; YU Zhi-Wu   

  1. Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorous Chemistry &Chemical Biology of the Ministry of Education, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China
  • Received:2008-03-10 Revised:2008-04-07 Published:2008-07-04
  • Contact: YU Zhi-Wu

Abstract: The effect of cholesterol, desmosterol, stigmasterol, sitosterol, ergosterol, and androsterol on the phase behavior of aqueous dispersions of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) was studied to understand the role of the side chain in the formation of ordered phases of the type observed in membrane rafts. Thermotropic changes in the structure of mixed dispersions and transition enthalpies were examined by synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The observations indicated that cholesterol was more efficient than phytosterols (stigmasterol and sitosterol) or ergosterol in its interaction with DPPC to form the liquid ordered phase (Lo). The Lo induced by cholesterol or desmosterol was stable over a wide temperature range, whereas, the liquid ordered phase containing phytosterols or ergosterol was profoundly dependent on temperature, which should be distinguished as Loβ and Loα, representing the phases below and above the main transition temperature. The characteristics in forming ordered structures of cholesterol and other sterols imply that the evolution may have selected cholesterol as the most efficient sterol for animals to formrafts in their cell membranes.

Key words: Sterol, DPPC, Rafts, X-ray diffraction, Calorimetry


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