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

Engineered lipids that cross-link the inner and outer leaflets of lipid bilayers.

The application of supported lipid bilayer systems as molecular sensors, diagnostic devices, and medical implants is limited by their lack of stability. In an effort to enhance the stability of supported lipid bilayers, three pairs of phosphatidylcholine lipids were designed to cross-link at the termini of their 2-position acyl chain upon the formation of lipid bilayers. The cross-linked lipids span the lipid bilayer, resembling naturally occurring bolaamphiphiles that stabilize archaebacterial membranes against high temperatures. The three reactions investigated here include the acyl chain cross-linking between thiol and bromine groups, thiol and acryloyl groups, and cyclopentadiene and acryloyl groups. All three reactive lipid pairs were found to cross-link in liposomal membranes, as determined by thin-layer chromatography, ion-spray mass spectrometry, and 1H NMR. The monolayer film properties of the reactive amphiphiles were characterized by surface pressure-area isotherms and showed that stable monolayers formed at the air-water interface with limiting molecular areas comparable to that of pure saturated phosphatidylcholine lipids. Langmuir-Blodgett bilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine incorporating 15 mol % of the reactive thiol and acryloyl lipids had diffusion coefficients comparable with pure dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine, while bilayers with more than 25 mol % of the reactive lipids were immobile, suggesting that interleaflet cross-linking of the lipids inhibited membrane diffusion. Our results show that the reactive lipids can cross-link within a lipid bilayer and are suitable for assembling supported lipid bilayers using Langmuir-Blodgett deposition. By using terminally reactive amphiphiles to build up supported lipid bilayers with cross-linked leaflets, bolaamphiphiles can be incorporated into asymmetric solid supported membranes to increase their stability in biosensor and medical implant applications.[1]


  1. Engineered lipids that cross-link the inner and outer leaflets of lipid bilayers. Halter, M., Nogata, Y., Dannenberger, O., Sasaki, T., Vogel, V. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. (2004) [Pubmed]
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