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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Unique effects of different fatty acid species on the physical properties of the torpedo acetylcholine receptor membrane.

To study the effects produced by free fatty acids (FFA) on the biophysical properties of Torpedo marmorata nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-rich native membranes and to investigate the topology of their binding site(s), fluorescence measurements were carried out using the fluorescent probe Laurdan (6-dodecanoyl-2-(dimethylamino) naphthalene) and ADIFAB, an Acrylodan-derivatized intestinal fatty acid-binding protein. The generalized polarization (GP) of the former probe was used to learn about the physical state of the membrane upon FFA binding. Saturated FFA induced a slight increase in GP, whereas cis-unsaturated fatty acids decreased GP. Double bond isomerism could also be distinguished; oleic acid (18:1cis) induced a net disordering effect, whereas elaidic acid (18:1trans) produced no changes in GP. The changes in the efficiency of the Förster energy transfer from the protein to Laurdan brought about by addition of FFA, together with the distances involved in this process, indicate that all FFA studied share a common site at the lipid-protein interface. However, despite being located at the same site, each class of FFA differs in its effect on the physical properties of the membrane. These data lead us to suggest that it is the direct action of FFA at the lipid-protein interface, displacing essential lipids from their sites rather than changes in bulk properties such as membrane fluidity that accounts for the effect of FFA on the acetylcholine receptor membrane.[1]


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