Influence of cholesterol on the bilayer properties of monounsaturated phosphatidylcholine unilamellar vesicles
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The influence of cholesterol on the structure of unilamellar-vesicle (ULV) phospholipid bilayers is studied using small-angle neutron scattering. ULVs made up of short-, mid- and long-chain monounsaturated phospholipids (diCn :1PC, n = 14 , 18, 22, respectively) are examined over a range (0-45 mol %) of cholesterol concentrations. Cholesterol's effect on bilayer structure is characterized through changes to the lipid's transmembrane thickness, lateral area and headgroup hydration. For all three lipids, analysis of the experimental data shows that the addition of cholesterol results in a monotonic increase of these parameters. In the case of the short- and mid-chain lipids, this is an expected result, however, such a finding was unexpected for the long-chain lipid. This implies that cholesterol has a pronounced effect on the lipid's hydrocarbon chain organization.
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