The lateral packing properties of phospholipids that surround transmembrane proteins are fundamental in the biological activity of these proteins. In this work, Langmuir monolayers of one such lipid, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE), are studied with a combination of pressure-area isotherm analysis, Brewster angle microscopy, and atomic force microscopy of extracted films. The analysis reveals a sequence of phase transitions LE-LC-LC' occurring in a narrow packing range. The lateral pressures and area densities of these phases provided meanings for the packing requirements in the annular lipid region of typical transmembrane proteins.
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