In situ modification of the phospholipid environment of native rabbit sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes

Balázs Szalontai, László Vigh, Ferenc Joó, Laurence Senak, Richard Mendelsohn

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7 Citations (Scopus)


A water soluble hydrogenation catalyst (palladium di(sodium alizarine monosulphonate)) in a deuterium-containing environment has been used for the in situ insertion of deuterium atoms into the fatty acyl chains of biological membranes. The thermotropic response of the stretching vibrations of the formed C-D bonds, as detected by Fourier transform IR spectroscopy, was used as a selective probe of biological membrane structure. Partial deuteration of unsaturated fatty acyl chains coupled with IR detection potentially provides a means for detecting specific biological roles of particular lipid classes. In the current study of sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes and purified phospholipid/CaATPase vesicles, it is also shown that νC-D monitors change at particular membrane locations which may remain undetected through the CH2 symmetric stretching frequency, a widely used IR spectral parameter. The latter reflects the average environment of the acyl chains. The approach described here may be suitable for wide applications to the study of biomembranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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