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

Thermodynamic and molecular determinants of sterol solubilities in bile salt micelles.

We examined, by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of cholesterol and 12 non-cholesterol sterols and related this property to their equilibrium micellar solubilities in sodium taurocholate and sodium glycodeoxycholate solutions. Sterols investigated exhibited structural variations in the polar function (3 alpha-OH, 3 beta-OH, 3 beta-SH), nuclear double bonds (none, delta 5, or delta 7), side chain length (C27, C28, C29) and side chain double bonds (none, delta 22, or delta 24). In general, a sterol's hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance became progressively more hydrophobic (as exemplified by increasing HPLC retention values, k') with additions of side chain methyl (C28) and ethyl (C29) groups and with 3 beta-SH substitution of the 3-OH polar function. Side chain delta 22 and especially delta 24 double bonds rendered the sterols appreciably more hydrophilic, whereas a single nuclear double bond had little influence. Sterol solubilities (24 degrees C, 0.15 M Na+) were uniformly greater in 50 mM solutions of sodium glycodeoxycholate (range 0.15 to 2.5 mM) than in equimolar solutions of the more hydrophilic bile salt, sodium taurocholate (range 0.07 to 0.67 mM). For each bile salt system, a strong inverse correlation existed between micellar solubilities of sterols and their HPLC k' values, indicating that more hydrophilic sterols had greater micellar solubilities than the more hydrophobic ones. Based upon the aqueous monomeric solubilities of cholesterol (C27) and beta-sitosterol (C29) at 24 degrees C, we derived free energy changes associated with micellar binding and found that solubilization of both sterols was more energetically favored in glycodeoxycholate solutions. Although cholesterol exhibited a higher binding affinity than beta-sitosterol in glycodeoxycholate micelles, solubilization of beta-sitosterol in taurocholate micelles was more energetically favored than cholesterol by -0.6 kcal/ mol. Based upon these results we offer a thermodynamic explanation for the greater micellar solubilities of more hydrophilic sterols and suggest that the high affinity, but low capacity, of a typical phytosterol for binding to trihydroxy bile salt micelles may provide a physical-chemical basis for its inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption.[1]


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