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Miscibility gap in fluid dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine:cholesterol as "seen" by x rays.

Authors
  • Richter, F
  • Rapp, G
  • Finegold, L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physical Review E
Publisher
American Physical Society (APS)
Publication Date
May 01, 2001
Volume
63
Issue
5 Pt 1
Pages
51914–51914
Identifiers
PMID: 11414940
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A binary mixture of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) and cholesterol displays a fluid miscibility gap under excess water conditions. Effects due to the imperfect miscibility of the two amphiphiles are studied near to and far from thermodynamic equilibrium by time-resolved small angle x-ray diffraction. The experiment discloses that this mixture phase separates when leaving the miscibility gap upon heating, a transition that is not included in current phase diagrams. This transition appears to be reversible and shows a temperature hysteresis of only a few degrees. We suggest a model in which the transition is driven with increasing temperature by a movement of the cholesterol away from the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface toward the hydrophobic core of the bilayer.

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