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Basic Nanostructure of Stratum Corneum Lipid Matrices Based on Ceramides [EOS] and [AP]: A Neutron Diffraction Study

Biophysical Journal
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.05.041
  • Membrane


Abstract The goal of this study was to investigate the nanostructure of SC lipid model membranes comprising the most relevant SC lipids such as the unique-structured ω-acylceramide [EOS] in a near natural ratio with neutron diffraction. In models proposed recently the presence of ceramide [EOS] and FFA are necessary for the formation of one of the two existent crystalline lamellar phases of the SC lipids, the long-periodicity phase as well as for the normal barrier function of the SC. The focus of this study was placed on the influence of the FFA BA on the membrane structure and its localization within the membrane based on the ceramides [EOS] and [AP]. The internal nanostructure of such membranes was obtained by Fourier synthesis from the experimental diffraction patterns. The resulting neutron scattering length density profiles showed that the exceptionally long ceramide [EOS] is arranged in a short-periodicity phase created by ceramide [AP] by spanning through the whole bilayer and extending even further into the adjacent bilayer. Specifically deuterated BA allowed us to determine the exact position of this FFA inside this SC lipid model membrane. Furthermore, hydration experiments showed that the presented SC mimic system shows an extremely small intermembrane hydration of ∼1 Å, consequently the headgroups of the neighboring leaflets are positioned close to each other.

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