Cyclic and linear monoterpenes in phospholipid membranes: Phase behavior, bilayer structure, and molecular dynamics.

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Monoterpenes are abundant in essential oil extracted from plants. These relatively small and hydrophobic molecules have shown many important biological fucntions, including antimicrobial activity and membrane penetration enhancement. The interaction between the monoterpenes and lipid bilayers is considered important to the understanding of the biological functions of monoterpenes. In this study we investigate the effect of cyclic and linear monoterpenes on the structure and dynamics of lipids in model membrane. We study the ternary system 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) - monoterpene - water as a model with a focus on dehydrated conditions. By combining complementary techniques, including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ss NMR) and small and wide angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS), bilayer structure, phase transitions and lipid molecular dynamics are investigated at different water contents. Monoterpenes cause pronounced melting point depression and phase segregation in lipid bilayers, and the extent of these effects depends on the hydration conditions. The addition of a small amount of thymol to the fluid bilayer (volume fraction of 0.03 in the bilayer) leads to an increased order in the acyl-chain close to the bilayer interface. The findings are discussed in relation to biological systems and lipid formulations.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11067-11077
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch