Document Detail

Short-chain phospholipids as detergents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11090824     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The physico-chemical properties of short-chain phosphatidylcholine are reviewed to the extent that its biological activity as a mild detergent can be rationalized. Long-chain diacylphosphatidylcholines are typical membrane phospholipids that form preferentially smectic lamellar phases (bilayers) when dispersed in water. In contrast, the preferred phase of the short-chain analogues dispersed in excess water is the micellar phase. The preferred conformation and the dynamics of short-chain phosphatidylcholines in the monomeric and micellar state present in H(2)O are discussed. The motionally averaged conformation of short-chain phosphatidylcholines is then compared to the single-crystal structures of membrane lipids. The main conclusion emerging is that in terms of preferred conformation and motional averaging short-chain phosphatidylcholines closely resemble their long-chain analogues. The dispersing power of short-chain phospholipids is emphasized in the second part of the review. Evidence is presented to show that this class of compounds is superior to most other detergents used in the solubilization of membrane proteins and the reconstitution of the solubilized proteins to artificial membrane systems (proteoliposomes). The prominent feature of the solubilization/reconstitution of integral membrane proteins by short-chain PC is the retention of the native protein structure and hence the protein function. Due to their special detergent-like properties, short-chain PC lend themselves very well not only to membrane solubilization but also to the purification of integral membrane proteins. The retention of the native protein structure in the solubilized state, i.e. in mixed micelles consisting of the integral membrane protein, intrinsic membrane lipids and short-chain PC, is rationalized. It is hypothesized that short-chain PC interacts primarily with the lipid bilayer of a membrane and very little if at all with the membrane proteins. In this way, the membrane protein remains associated with its preferred intrinsic membrane lipids and retains its native structure and its function.
H Hauser
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biochimica et biophysica acta     Volume:  1508     ISSN:  0006-3002     ISO Abbreviation:  Biochim. Biophys. Acta     Publication Date:  2000 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-12-19     Completed Date:  2001-01-04     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0217513     Medline TA:  Biochim Biophys Acta     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  164-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Biochemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Centre, Universitätsstrasse 16, CH-8092, Zurich, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Detergents / chemistry*
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Membrane Proteins / chemistry
Molecular Conformation
Phosphatidylcholines / chemistry
Phospholipids / chemistry*
Protein Conformation
Proteolipids / chemistry
Terminology as Topic
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Detergents; 0/Membrane Proteins; 0/Micelles; 0/Phosphatidylcholines; 0/Phospholipids; 0/Proteolipids; 0/proteoliposomes

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