Computer simulation study of intermolecular voids in unsaturated phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers.

A. L. Rabinovich, N. K. Balabaev, M. G. Alinchenko, V. P. Voloshin, N. N. Medvedev, P. Jedlovszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Computer simulation of the liquid crystalline phase of five different hydrated unsaturated phosphadidylcholine (PC) lipid bilayers, i.e., membranes built up by 18:0/18:1omega9cis PC, 18:0/18:2omega6cis PC, 18:0/18:3omega3cis PC, 18:0/20:4omega6cis PC, and 18:0/22:6omega3cis PC molecules have been performed on the isothermal-isobaric ensemble at 1 atm and 303 K. (The notation n:domegapcis specifies the lipid tails: n refers to the total number of carbon atoms in the chain, d is the number of the methylene-interrupted double bonds, p denotes the number of carbons between the chain terminal CH(3) group and the nearest double bond, and cis refers to the conformation around the double bonds.) The characteristics of the free volume in these systems have been analyzed by means of a generalized version of the Voronoi-Delaunay method [M. G. Alinchenko et al., J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 19056 (2004)]. As a reference system, the hydrated bilayer of the saturated 14:014:0 PC molecules (dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine) has also been analyzed. It has been found that the profiles of the fraction of the free volume across the membrane exhibit a rather complex pattern. This fine structure of the free volume fraction profiles can be interpreted by dividing the membrane into three separate major zones (i.e., zones of the aqueous, polar, and apolar parts of the membrane) and defining five subzones within these zones according to the average position of various atomic groups in the membrane. The fraction of the free volume in the middle of the membrane is found to increase with increasing unsaturation of the sn-2 chain of the lipid molecule. This is due to the fact that with increasing number of methylene-interrupted double bonds the lipid tails become more flexible, and hence they do not extend to the middle of the membrane. It is found that there are no broad enough preformed channels in the bilayers through which small penetrants, such as water molecules, can readily go through; however, the existing channels can largely facilitate the permeation of these molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84906
Number of pages1
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume122
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 22 2005

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Lipid bilayers
Phosphatidylcholines
lipids
voids
computerized simulation
membranes
Membranes
Free volume
Computer simulation
Molecules
molecules
Lipids
methylene
Carbon
penetrants
Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine
reference systems
carbon
profiles
Permeation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this

Rabinovich, A. L., Balabaev, N. K., Alinchenko, M. G., Voloshin, V. P., Medvedev, N. N., & Jedlovszky, P. (2005). Computer simulation study of intermolecular voids in unsaturated phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 122(8), 84906.

Computer simulation study of intermolecular voids in unsaturated phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. / Rabinovich, A. L.; Balabaev, N. K.; Alinchenko, M. G.; Voloshin, V. P.; Medvedev, N. N.; Jedlovszky, P.

In: The Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol. 122, No. 8, 22.02.2005, p. 84906.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rabinovich, AL, Balabaev, NK, Alinchenko, MG, Voloshin, VP, Medvedev, NN & Jedlovszky, P 2005, 'Computer simulation study of intermolecular voids in unsaturated phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers.', The Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 122, no. 8, pp. 84906.
Rabinovich AL, Balabaev NK, Alinchenko MG, Voloshin VP, Medvedev NN, Jedlovszky P. Computer simulation study of intermolecular voids in unsaturated phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. The Journal of Chemical Physics. 2005 Feb 22;122(8):84906.
Rabinovich, A. L. ; Balabaev, N. K. ; Alinchenko, M. G. ; Voloshin, V. P. ; Medvedev, N. N. ; Jedlovszky, P. / Computer simulation study of intermolecular voids in unsaturated phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. In: The Journal of Chemical Physics. 2005 ; Vol. 122, No. 8. pp. 84906.
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