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Jun 8 – 11, 2021 Online only
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Not just a fluidifying effect: omega-3 phospholipids induce formation of non-lamellar structures in biomembrane

Jun 10, 2021, 2:00 PM
Talk Biological membranes, surfaces and interfaces Biological membranes, surfaces and interfaces


Luigi Paduano (Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples "Federico II")


Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is found in very high concentrations in a few peculiar tissues. DHA was proposed to affect the function of the cell membrane and related proteins through an indirect mechanism of action, based on the DHA-phospholipid effects on the bilayer structure. Most studies have focused on its influence on lipid-rafts, neglecting the effects on liquid disordered phases that constitute most of the cell membranes.
By combining NR, cryo-transmission electron microscopy, SANS, DLS and EPR, we characterize liquid disordered bilayers formed by the naturally 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-snglycero-3 phosphocholine and different contents of a di-DHA glycero-phosphocholine, 22:6-22:6PC, from both a molecular/microscopic and supramolecular/mesoscopic viewpoint. We show that, below a threshold concentration of about 40% molar percent, incorporation of 22:6-22:6PC in the membrane increases the lipid dynamics promoting the membrane deformation. Notably, beyond this threshold, 22:6-22:6PC disfavours the formation of lamellar phases, leading to a phase separation consisting mostly of small spherical particles that coexist with a minority portion of a lipid blob with water-filled cavities. From a molecular viewpoint, the polyunsaturated acyl chains tend to fold and expose the termini to the aqueous medium. We propose that this peculiar tendency is a key feature of the DHA-phospholipids making them able to modulate the local biomembranes morphology

Primary author

Luigi Paduano (Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples "Federico II")


Prof. Giuseppe Vitiello (University of Naples, Federico II) Dr Marie-Sousai APPAVOU (Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) at Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH) Giovanna Fragneto (ILL) Dr Ernesto Scoppola (Max Planck Institut fu¨r Kolloid und Grenzfla ¨chenforschung, Potsdam, Germany) Prof. Gerardo D'errico (University of Naples Federico II) Dr Luke A. Clifton (ISIS Facility, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) irene RUSSO KRAUSS (UNIVERSITY OF NAPLES) Lester Barnsley (Jülich Centre for Neutron Science)

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