A comparative study is conducted on the influence of two types of polymeric compounds on the phase behavior of 1,2-dihexadecanoyl-s,n-glycero-3-phosphotidylcholine (DC16PC) lipid bilayers. The first polymeric compound is a lipopolymer, mer, with two different lengths of a hydrophilic polyethylene oxide moity, anchored to the bilayer by a 1,2-dioctadecanoyl-s,n-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DC18PE) lipid. The second type, which is a novel type of membrane-spanning object, is an amphiphilic tri-block copolymer composed of two hydrophilic stretches of polyethylene oxide separated by a hydrophobic stretch of polystyrene. Hence the tri-block copolymer may act as a membrane-spanning macromolecule mimicking an amphiphilic protein or polypeptide. Differential scanning calorimetry is used to determine a partial phase diagram for the lipopolymer systems and to assess the amount of lipopolymer that can be loaded into DC16PC lipid bilayers before micellization takes place. Unilamellar and micellar phase structures are investigated by fluorescence quenching using bilayer permeating dithionite. The chain length-dependent critical lipopolymer concentration, denoting the lamellar-to-micellar phase transition, compares favorably with a theoretical prediction based on free-energy considerations involving bilayer cohesion and lateral pressure exerted by the polymer chains.
|Publication status||Published - 1997|