Interaction of Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid) with Lipid Membranes
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We studied the interaction of Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) with lipid membranes using x-ray diffraction for bilayers containing up to 50 mol% of aspirin. From 2D x-ray intensity maps that cover large areas of reciprocal space we determined the position of the ASA molecules in the phospholipid bilayers and the molecular arrangement of the molecules in the plane of the membranes. We present direct experimental evidence that ASA molecules participate in saturated lipid bilayers of DMPC (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine) and preferably reside in the head group region of the membrane. Up to 50 mol% ASA molecules can be dissolved in this type of bilayer before the lateral membrane organization is disturbed and the membranes are found to form an ordered, 2D crystal-like structure. Furthermore, ASA and cholesterol were found to co-exist in saturated lipid bilayers, with the ASA molecules residing in the head group region and the cholesterol molecules participating in the hydrophobic membrane core.
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