Studies of Phospholipid Hydration by High-Resolution Magic-Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • A sample preparation method using spherical glass ampoules has been used to achieve 1.5-Hz resolution in 1H magic-angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of aqueous multilamellar dispersions of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), serving to differentiate between slowly exchanging interlamellar and bulk water and to reveal new molecular-level information about hydration phenomena in these model biological membranes. The average numbers of interlamellar water molecules in multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) of DOPC and POPC were found to be 37.5 +/- 1 and 37.2 +/- 1, respectively, at a spinning speed of 3 kHz. Even at speeds as high as 9 kHz, the number of interlamellar waters remained as high as 31, arguing against dehydration effects for DOPC and POPC. Both homonuclear and heteronuclear nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy (NOESY and HOESY) were used to establish the location of water near the headgroup of a PC bilayer. 1H NMR comparisons of DOPC with a lipid that can hydrogen bond (monomethyldioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine, MeDOPE) showed the following trends: 1) the interlamellar water resonance was shifted to lower frequency for DOPC but to higher frequency for MeDOPE, 2) the chemical shift variation with temperature for interlamellar water was less than that of bulk water for MeDOPE MLVs, 3) water exchange between the two lipids was rapid on the NMR time scale if they were mixed in the same bilayer, 4) water exchange was slow if they were present in separate MLVs, and 5) exchange between bulk and interlamellar water was found by two-dimensional exchange experiments to be slow, and the exchange rate should be less than 157 Hz. These results illustrate the utility of ultra-high-resolution 1H MAS NMR for determining the nature and extent of lipid hydration as well as the arrangement of nuclei at the membrane/water interface.


  • Zhou, Zhe
  • Sayer, Brian G
  • Hughes, Donald W
  • Stark, Ruth E
  • Epand, Richard

publication date

  • January 1999