Structure of synthetic transmembrane lipid membranes at the solid/liquid interface studied by specular X-ray reflectivity.

Abstract

We fabricated a new class of supported membranes based on monolayers of artificial bola (transmembrane) lipids. The lipids used in this study are symmetric bola lipids with two phosphocholine head groups, which resemble natural archaea lipids. To prevent bending of the hydrocarbon chains, stiff triple bonds are inserted in the middle of the hydrocarbon cores. The formation of homogeneous "monolayers" of transmembrane lipids over macroscopic areas can be monitored with fluorescence microscopy. Structures of such supported monolayers in bulk water were characterized with specular X-ray reflectivity using high energy X-ray radiation, which guarantees a high transmission through bulk water. Here, the vertical structure of single monolayers could be resolved from reconstructed electron density profiles. To verify the structural model suggested by the specular reflectivity, we also performed small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering of transmembrane lipid suspensions. The wide-angle patterns reflect a distorted chain-chain correlation, while the small-angle scattering allowed us to model an electron density profile which is consistent with the profile calculated from specular reflectivity.

DOI: 10.1021/jp803937m

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Cite this paper

@article{Schubert2008StructureOS, title={Structure of synthetic transmembrane lipid membranes at the solid/liquid interface studied by specular X-ray reflectivity.}, author={Thomas Schubert and Peter Seitz and Emanuel Schneck and Makoto Nakamura and Motonari Shibakami and S{\'e}rgio de Souza Funari and Oleg V. Konovalov and Motomu Tanaka}, journal={The journal of physical chemistry. B}, year={2008}, volume={112 32}, pages={10041-4} }