Effects of bile salts on glucosylceramide containing membranes

J Halin, Peter Mattjus

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP) is capable of transporting glycolipids from a donor membrane, through the aqueous environment, to an acceptor membrane. The GLTP mediated glycolipid transfer from sphingomyelin membranes is very slow. In contrast, the transfer is fast from membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine. The lateral glycolipid membrane organization is known to be driven by their tendency to mix non-randomly with different membrane lipids. Consequently, the properties of the membrane lipids surrounding the glycolipids play an important role in the ability of GLTP to bind and transfer its substrates. Since GLTP transfer of glycolipids is almost nonexistent from sphingomyelin membranes, we have used this exceptionality to investigate if membrane intercalators can alter the membrane packing and induce glycolipid transfer. We found that the bile salts cholate, deoxycholate, taurocholate and taurodeoxycholate, cause glucosylceramide to become transferrable by GLTP. Other compounds, such as single chain lipids, ceramide and nonionic surfactants, that have membrane-perturbing effects, did not affect the transfer capability of GLTP. We speculate that the strong hydrogen bonding network formed in the interfacial region of glycosphingolipid-sphingomyelin membranes is disrupted by the membrane partition of the bile salts causing the glycosphingolipid to become transferrable.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)2886–2893
    Number of pages8
    JournalBBA - Biomembranes
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • BODIPY-labeled lipid
    • Glucosylceramide
    • Glycolipid
    • Glycolipid transfer protein
    • Hydrogen bond
    • Lipid lateral packing

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