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Porphyrin-Based Probe for Simultaneous Detection of Interface Acidity and Polarity during Lipid-Phase Transition of Vesicles

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journal contribution
posted on 23.12.2019, 21:30 by Rini Majumder, Snigdha Roy, Kentaro Okamoto, Satoshi Nagao, Takashi Matsuo, Partha Pratim Parui
Biochemical activities at a membrane interface are affected by local pH/polarity related to membrane lipid properties including lipid dynamics. pH and polarity at the interface are two highly interdependent parameters, depending on various locations from the water-exposed outer surface to the less polar inner surface. The optical response of common pH or polarity probes is affected by both the local pH and polarity; therefore, estimation of these values using two separate probes localized at different interface depths can be erroneous. To estimate interface pH and polarity at an identical interface depth, we synthesized a glucose-pendant porphyrin (GPP) molecule for simultaneous pH and polarity detection by a single optical probe. pH-induced protonation equilibrium and polarity-dependent π–π stacking aggregation for GPP are exploited to measure pH and polarity changes at the 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1′-rac-glycerol) (DMPG) membrane interface during DMPG phase transition. An NMR study confirmed that GPP is located at the interface Stern layer of DMPG large unilamellar vesicle (LUV). Using UV–vis absorption studies with an adapted analysis protocol, we estimated interface pH, or its deviation from the bulk phase value (ΔpH), and the interface polarity simultaneously using the same spectra for sodium dodecyl sulfate micelle and DMPG LUV. During temperature-dependent gel to liquid-crystalline phase transition of DMPG, there was ∼0.5 unit increase in ΔpH from approximately −0.6 to −1.1, with a small increase in the interface dielectric constant from ∼60 to 63. A series of spectroscopic data indicate the utility of GPP for evaluation of local pH/polarity change during lipid phase transition of vesicles.

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