The Influence of Hydrogen Bonding on Sphingomyelin/Colipid Interactions in Bilayer Membranes

Tomokazu Yasuda, Md Abdullah Sazzad, Niklas Jäntti, OT Pentikäinen, J Peter Slotte

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The phospholipid acyl chain composition and order, the hydrogen bonding, and properties of the phospholipid headgroup all influence cholesterol/phospholipid interactions in hydrated bilayers. In this study, we examined the influence of hydrogen bonding on sphingomyelin (SM) colipid interactions in fluid uni- and multilamellar vesicles. We have compared the properties of oleoyl or palmitoyl SM with comparable dihydro-SMs, because the hydrogen bonding properties of SM and dihydro-SM differ. The association of cholestatrienol, a fluorescent cholesterol analog, with oleoyl sphingomyelin (OSM) was significantly stronger than its association with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, in bilayers with equal acyl chain order. The association of cholestatrienol with dihydro-OSM, which lacks a trans double bond in the sphingoid base, was even stronger than the association with OSM, suggesting an important role for hydrogen bonding in stabilizing sterol/SM interactions. Furthermore, with saturated SM in the presence of 15 mol % cholesterol, cholesterol association with fluid dihydro-palmitoyl SM bilayers was stronger than seen with palmitoyl SM under similar conditions. The different hydrogen bonding properties in OSM and dihydro-OSM bilayers also influenced the segregation of palmitoyl ceramide and dipalmitoylglycerol into an ordered phase. The ordered, palmitoyl ceramide-rich phase started to form above 2 mol % in the dihydro-OSM bilayers but only above 6 mol % in the OSM bilayers. The lateral segregation of dipalmitoylglycerol was also much more pronounced in dihydro-OSM bilayers than in OSM bilayers. The results show that hydrogen bonding is important for sterol/SM and ceramide/SM interactions, as well as for the lateral segregation of a diglyceride. A possible molecular explanation for the different hydrogen bonding in SM and dihydro-SM bilayers is presented and discussed.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)431–440
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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