The phase behaviour of dispersions of Bis-Azo PC: photoregulation of bilayer dynamics via lipid photochromism.
AffiliationDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Salford, U.K.
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AbstractA phospholipid, 1,2-bis(4-(n-butyl)phenylazo-4'-phenylbutyroyl)phosphatidylcholine (Bis-Azo PC), has been synthesised and shown to form stable bilayer vesicles. Light-scattering measurements and differential scanning calorimetry show that a dispersion of the lipid has a cooperative phase transition at a similar temperature to that of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, which Bis-Azo PC resembles in overall size. The phase behaviour of Bis-Azo PC has been investigated by fluorescence spectroscopy and using a series of spin-labelled fatty acid probes. Fluorescence measurements using chlorophyll a as probe sense the onset of the cooperative phase transition, but this is not clearly revealed by any of the spin probes tested. Hysteresis in the phase transition is detected both by light scattering measurements and by fluorescence spectroscopy. No transition is observed for a lipid analogue having a palmitic acid chain and a single azo-containing substituent. Bis-Azo PC is reversibly photochromic, isomerising on exposure to ultraviolet light to a photostationary state mixture where cis isomer predominates. Electron microscopy shows that photoisomerisation decreases average vesicle size, and light scattering and calorimetry demonstrate that the cooperative phase transition is abolished. Illumination with visible light establishes a new photostationary state where trans isomer predominates, and the phase transition is restored. The ability to modulate bilayer phase behaviour reversibly has possible application to relaxation studies of bilayer membrane function, and to drug delivery research.
CitationThe phase behaviour of dispersions of Bis-Azo PC: photoregulation of bilayer dynamics via lipid photochromism. 1987, 903 (3):495-503 Biochim Biophys Acta
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta