Nonlamellar-Phase-Promoting Colipids Enhance Segregation of Palmitoyl Ceramide in Fluid Bilayers

Anna Möuts, T Yamamoto, Thomas Nyholm, M Murata, J Peter Slotte

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    Ceramide is an important intermediate in sphingolipid homeostasis. We examined how colipids, with negative intrinsic curvature and which may induce curvature stress in the bilayers, affected the segregation of palmitoyl ceramide (PCer). Such colipids include 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE), 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE), and tetra-linoleoyl cardiolipin (CL). In 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) bilayers, PCer formed ordered, gel-like domains at concentrations above 10 mol% at 23°C, as evidenced by the change in the average lifetime of the trans-parinaric acid emission. When POPE or DOPE were included in the DOPC bilayer (at 20:80 or 40:60 POPE or DOPE to DOPC, by mol), the lateral segregation of PCer was facilitated in a concentration-dependent manner, and less PCer was required for the formation of the ordered ceramide-rich domains. Inclusion of CL in the DOPE bilayer (at 10:90 or 20:80 CL to PC, by mol) also caused a similar facilitation of the lateral segregation of PCer. The PCer-rich domains formed in the presence of POPE, DOPE, or CL in DOPC bilayers were slightly more thermostable (by 2–10°C) when compared to PCer-rich domains in DOPC-only bilayers. Nonlamellar phases were not present in bilayers in which the effects of POPE or DOPE on PCer segregation were the largest, as verified by 31P NMR. When palmitoyl sphingomyelin was added to the different bilayer compositions at 5 mol%, relative to the phospholipids, PCer segregated into gel domains at lower concentrations (2–3 mol% PCer), and the effect of POPE on PCer segregation was eliminated. We suggest that the effects of POPE, DOPE, and CL on PCer segregation was in part influenced by their effects on membrane curvature stress and in part because of unfavorable interactions with PCer due to their unsaturated acyl chains. These lipids are abundant in mitochondrial membranes and are likely to affect functional properties of saturated ceramides in them.

    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1507–1515
    JournalBiophysical Journal
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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