Membrane Restructuring by Phospholipase A2 Is Regulated by the Presence of Lipid Domains

Chad Leidy, Jackson Ocampo, Lars Duelund, Ole G. Mouritsen, Kent Jørgensen, Günther H.J. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) catalyzes the hydrolysis of glycerophospholipids. This enzyme is sensitive to membrane structure, and its activity has been shown to increase in the presence of liquid-crystalline/gel (Lα/Lβ) lipid domains. In this work, we explore whether lipid domains can also direct the activity of the enzyme by inducing hydrolysis of certain lipid components due to preferential activity of the enzyme toward lipid domains susceptible to sPLA(2). Specifically, we show that the presence of Lα/Lβ and Lα/Lβ, phase coexistence in a 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-PhosPhocholine (DMPC)/1,2 distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC) system results in the preferential hydrolysis of the shorter-chained lipid component in the mixture, leading to an enrichment in the longer-chained component. The restructuring process is monitored by atomic force microscopy on supported single and double bilayers formed by vesicle fusion. We observe that during preferential hydrolysis of the DMPC-rich Lα regions, the Lβ and Pβ' regions grow and reseal, maintaining membrane integrity. This result indicates that a sharp reorganization of the membrane structure can occur during sPLA2 hydrolysis without necessarily destroying the membrane. We confirm by high-performance liquid chromatography the preferential hydrolysis of DMPC within the phase coexistence region of the DMPC/DSPC phase diagram, showing that this preferential hydrolysis is accentuated close to the solidus phase boundary. Differential scanning calorimetry results show that this preferential hydrolysis in the presence of lipid domains leads to a membrane system with a higher-temperature melting profile due to enrichment in DSPC. Together, these results show that the presence of lipid domains can induce specificity in the hydrolytic activity of the enzyme, resulting in marked differences in the physical properties of the membrane end-product.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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