Effect of cationic lipids in the formation of asymmetries in supported bilayers

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We have studied the formation of a supported bilayer containing both cationic and zwitterionic lipids by fusion of small unilamellar vesicles (SUV) onto the solid surface at low salt conditions using a combination of attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) and deuterium NMR spectroscopy with microcalorimetry. The data suggest that a significant cationic lipid asymmetry between the outer (distal) and the inner (proximal) monolayer of a supported bilayer results under conditions of prolonged incubation times of the solid support with the SUV coating solution. For a SUV composition of DPPC/DHDAB (4:1) we observed an enrichment of the cationic component in the proximal monolayer of up to 200% compared to the distal monolayer after 12 h incubation. It is suggested that the electrostatic potential arising from the solid surface is the driving force for the creation of this asymmetry by means of directed flip-flop between the monolayers and/or by temporary fusion between SUV from the bulk with the supported bilayer.




Käsbauer, M., Junglas, M., & Bayerl, T. M. (1999). Effect of cationic lipids in the formation of asymmetries in supported bilayers. Biophysical Journal, 76(5), 2600–2605. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(99)77412-6

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