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Non-polar lipids as regulators of membrane properties in archaeal lipid bilayer mimics

  • Salvador-Castell, M
  • Brooks, NJ
  • Winter, R
  • Peters, J
  • Oger, PM
Publication Date
Jun 02, 2021
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository
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The modification of archaeal lipid bilayer properties by the insertion of apolar molecules in the lipid bilayer midplane has been proposed to support cell membrane adaptation to extreme environmental conditions of temperature and hydrostatic pressure. In this work, we characterize the insertion effects of the apolar polyisoprenoid squalane on the permeability and fluidity of archaeal model membrane bilayers, composed of lipid analogues. We have monitored large molecule and proton permeability and Laurdan generalized polarization from lipid vesicles as a function of temperature and hydrostatic pressure. Even at low concentration, squalane (1 mol%) is able to enhance solute permeation by increasing membrane fluidity, but at the same time, to decrease proton permeability of the lipid bilayer. The squalane physicochemical impact on membrane properties are congruent with a possible role of apolar intercalants on the adaptation of Archaea to extreme conditions. In addition, such intercalant might be used to cheaply create or modify chemically resistant liposomes (archeaosomes) for drug delivery.

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