C24:0 and C24:1 sphingolipids in cholesterol-containing, five- and six-component lipid membranes
The biophysical properties of sphingolipids containing lignoceric (C24:0) or nervonic (C24:1) fatty acyl residues have been studied in multicomponent lipid bilayers containing cholesterol (Chol), by means of confocal microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and atomic force microscopy. Lipid membranes composed of dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol were prepared, with the addition of different combinations of ceramides (C24:0 and/or C24:1) and sphingomyelins (C24:0 and/or C24:1).
... esults point to C24:0 sphingolipids, namely lignoceroyl sphingomyelin (lSM) and lignoceroyl ceramide (lCer), having higher membrane rigidifying properties than their C24:1 homologues (nervonoyl SM, nSM, or nervonoyl Cer, nCer), although with a similar strong capacity to induce segregated gel phases. In the case of the lSM-lCer multicomponent system, the segregated phases have a peculiar fibrillar or fern-like morphology. Moreover, the combination of C24:0 and C24:1 sphingolipids generates interesting events, such as a generalized bilayer dynamism/instability of supported planar bilayers. In some cases, these sphingolipids give rise to exothermic curves in thermograms. These peculiar features were not present in previous studies of C24:1 combined with C16:0 sphingolipids. Conclusions of our study point to nSM as a key factor governing the relative distribution of ceramides when both lCer and nCer are present. The data indicate that lCer could be easier to accommodate in multicomponent bilayers than its C16:0 counterpart. These results are relevant for events of membrane platform formation, in the context of sphingolipid-based signaling cascades.