Assessing Marine Microbial Induced Corrosion at Santa Catalina Island, California
We have investigated the effect of lipids with phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) head groups on the stabilization of contacts between the tryptophan side chains of gramicidin and the lipid head groups. We initially developed two fluorescence methods that can be correlated to the spontaneous curvature of DOPC/DOPE and DOPC/DOPEme. One is based on bilayer structure and measures the rotational motion of a probe located close to the membrane surface relative to a more deeply-buried probe. The second is based on surface hydration/polarity and measures the emission energy of a polarity-sensitive probe located on the membrane surface. We used these methods to estimate the pseudo-curvature (i.e., curvature obtained by fluorescence measurements) of lipids with dimyristyl chains, and their pressure and temperature dependence. We then investigated the stability of gramicidin tryptophan-lipid contacts in DMPC/DMPE as a function of temperature and pressure. Stability was assessed by tryptophan rotational motion as determined by fluorescence anisotropy, since rotational motion is limited when the indoles are hydrogen bonded to the lipid head groups. The results suggest that the presence of PE lipids destabilizes these contacts due to either their smaller size relative to PC head groups, or their tendency to self-interact. Fluorescence quenching studies support these results.