Influence of cholesterol and β-sitosterol on the structure of EYPC bilayers

Jana Gallová, Daniela Uhríková, Norbert Kučerka, Miroslava Svorková, Sergio S. Funari, Tatiana N. Murugova, László Almásy, Milan Mazúr, Pavol Balgavý

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of cholesterol and β-sitosterol on egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (EYPC) bilayers is compared. Different interactions of these sterols with EYPC bilayers were observed using X-ray diffraction. Cholesterol was miscible with EYPC in the studied concentration range (0-50 mol%), but crystallization of β-sitosterol in EYPC bilayers was observed at X ≥ 41 mol% as detected by X-ray diffraction. Moreover, the repeat distance (d) of the lamellar phase was similar upon addition of the two sterols up to mole fraction 17%, while for X ≥ 17 mol% it became higher in the presence of β-sitosterol compared to cholesterol. SANS data on suspensions of unilamellar vesicles showed that both cholesterol and β-sitosterol similarly increase the EYPC bilayer thickness. Cholesterol in amounts above 33 mol% decreased the interlamellar water layer thickness, probably due to "stiffening" of the bilayer. This effect was not manifested by β-sitosterol, in particular due to the lower solubility of β-sitosterol in EYPC bilayers. Applying the formalism of partial molecular areas, it is shown that the condensing effect of both sterols on the EYPC area at the lipid-water interface is small, if any. The parameters of ESR spectra of spin labels localized in different regions of the EYPC bilayer did not reveal any differences between the effects of cholesterol and β-sitosterol in the range of full miscibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Membrane Biology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2011


  • Bilayer thickness
  • Cholesterol
  • ESR
  • Egg yolk phosphatidylcholine
  • Plant sterol
  • Repeat distance
  • SANS
  • Undulation
  • X-ray diffraction
  • β-Sitosterol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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  • Cite this

    Gallová, J., Uhríková, D., Kučerka, N., Svorková, M., Funari, S. S., Murugova, T. N., Almásy, L., Mazúr, M., & Balgavý, P. (2011). Influence of cholesterol and β-sitosterol on the structure of EYPC bilayers. Journal of Membrane Biology, 243(1-3), 1-13.