Promotion of hexagonal phase formation and lipid mixing by fatty acids with varying degrees of unsaturation
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A series of C18 and C22 fatty acids, with varying degrees of unsaturation, were tested for their ability to alter the bilayer to hexagonal phase transition temperature of dielaidoylphosphatidylethanolamine. Lowering the pH from 7.4 to 6.4 greatly decreased the bilayer to hexagonal phase transition temperature of fatty acid-phosphatidylethanolamine mixtures. At pH 7.4, increasing unsaturation of the fatty acid generally increased their hexagonal phase-forming ability. However, oleic acid had somewhat greater hexagonal phase-forming capacity and docosahexaenoic acid somewhat less than would be expected for their degree of unsaturation. At pH 6.4 the difference among fatty acids was small and except for stearic acid, all had similar hexagonal phase forming tendencies. The fatty acids cause acid-induced fusion. There is little effect of fatty acid structure on membrane fusion.
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