Several double-bond isomers of cholesterol where the normal C5-C6 double bond (delta 5) has been moved to different positions in the ring skeleton, i.e., delta 1, delta 4, delta 7, delta 8(9), delta 8(14), and delta 14, have been synthesized and incorporated in phosphotidylcholine vesicles. In addition, dienes like delta 5,7, delta 7,14, and delta 8,14 have also been studied. Many of these cholesterol analogues are intermediates in the sterol biosynthesis in different organisms. The incorporation studied indicated that more than 90% of the sterol was present in the vesicles. The effect of these cholesterol analogues was studied by glucose permeability, electron spin resonance, and fluorescence polarization spectroscopy. These studies indicated that delta 14-cholesten-3 beta-ol was most effective in restricting glucose permeability or in increasing the order parameter but was still not as effective as cholesterol. This was followed by delta 8(14)- and delta 8(9)-cholesten-3 beta-ol. The delta 1, delta 4, and delta 7 analogues and the dienols were relatively less effective in condensing the membrane. These studies indicate that the double bond at C5-C6 in cholesterol is most effective for optimal sterol-phospholipid interaction and may have formed the basis of the migration of the double bond from rings C and D in sterols to C5-C6 during the evolution of cholesterol.