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Dynamic Molecular Structure and Phase Diagram of DPPC−Cholesterol Binary Mixtures:  A 2D-ELDOR Study

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journal contribution
posted on 27.09.2007 by Yun-Wei Chiang, Antonio J. Costa-Filho, Jack H. Freed
This paper is an application of 2D electron−electron double resonance (2D-ELDOR) with the “full Sc method” to study model membranes. We obtain and confirm the phase diagram of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycerophosphatidylcholine (DPPC)−cholesterol binary mixtures versus temperature and provide quantitative descriptions for its dynamic molecular structure using 2D-ELDOR at the Ku band. The spectra from the end-chain 16-PC spin label in multilamellar phospholipid vesicles are obtained for cholesterol molar concentrations ranging from 0 to 50% and from 25 to 60 °C. This phase diagram consists of liquid-ordered, liquid-disordered, and gel phases and phase coexistence regions. The phase diagram is carefully examined according to the spectroscopic evidence, and the rigorous interpretation for the line shape changes. We show that the 2D-ELDOR spectra differ markedly with variation in the composition. The extensive line shape changes in the 2D-plus-mixing-time representation provide useful information to define and characterize the membrane phases with respect to their dynamic molecular structures and to determine the phase boundaries. The homogeneous T2's are extracted from the pure absorption spectra and are used to further distinguish the membrane phases. These results show 2D-ELDOR to be naturally suitable for probing and reporting the dynamic structures of microdomains in model membrane systems and, moreover, providing a very detailed picture of their molecular dynamic structure, especially with the aid of the “full Sc method”.