DMSO produces a new subgel phase in DPPC: DSC and X-ray diffraction study

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Equilibrium phases and the kinetics of subgel phase transformation of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) hydrated with mixtures of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)/water have been studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The rate of gel-to-subgel transformation is decreased with a small increase in X, the DMSO/water mole fraction, but then speeds up and becomes faster than in pure water by X = 0.16. The DSC scans show multiple subgel peaks, some of which can be attributed to impacted domain growth. For X greater than 0.10, XRD shows that there is a new, stable subgel phase, S, which also accounts for some of the multiplicity of DSC peaks. Our electron density profiles show that the thickness of the bilayer in the S phase is greater than in the usual C subgel phase. We suggest that the S subgel phase is characterized by different headgroup ordering and smaller chain tilt angle than in the C subgel phase. Electron density profiles show that increasing X decreases the water space between bilayers in all phases, subgel, gel and fluid (L(α)). For X = 0.20, a different gel phase is also observed that may be due to subtle changes in the orientation of chain tilt first observed in partially dehydrated DMPC. The dehydrating effect of DMSO explains the results of a previous study, confirmed in this study, that increasing the concentration of DMSO raises the main transition temperature and eliminates the ripple phase.




Tristram-Nagle, S., Moore, T., Petrache, H. I., & Nagle, J. F. (1998). DMSO produces a new subgel phase in DPPC: DSC and X-ray diffraction study. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes, 1369(1), 19–33.

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