Miglena I Angelova

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States

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Publications (31)88.82 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A recurring question in membrane biological chemistry is whether bioactive signaling lipids act only as second messenger ligands or also through an effect on bilayer physical properties. Sphingosine (Sph) and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) are single-chained charged sphingolipids that have antagonistic functions in the "sphingolipid rheostat" which determines cell fate. Sph and S1P respectively promote apoptosis and cell growth. In the present study, potential effects of these bioactive lipids on physicochemical properties of the lipid bilayer of cell membranes were evaluated. We have investigated the effect of both sphingolipids, incorporated separately or, for the first time, together, in large or giant phosphadidylcholine (PC) unilamellar vesicles. Three bilayer properties were examined: membrane surface charge, lipid packing, and formation of membrane microdomains. Sph and S1P appear to have distinct, when not inverse, effects on all three properties. Besides, when both sphingolipids are mixed together, their effects on lipid packing are synergistic, whereas their effects on microdomain formation and zeta-potential are mostly antagonistic. These results are interpreted as arising from different electrostatic interactions between lipid headgroups. In particular, Sph and S1P may interact together electrostatically and form a complex. These mostly inverse and opposing effects of both single-chain phospholipids on membrane physical properties might be involved in their antagonistic role in regulating cell fate. Particularly, the mutual interaction between Sph and S1P as a complex might be able to sequester both molecules in a biologically inactive form and therefore to promote a mutual regulation of their biological activities, depending on their ratio, consistent with the sphingolipid rheostat.
    Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In a previous work, we have shown that a spatially localized transmembrane pH gradient, produced by acid micro-injection near the external side of cardiolipin-containing giant unilamellar vesicles, leads to the formation of tubules that retract after the dissipation of this gradient. These tubules have morphologies similar to mitochondrial cristae. The tubulation effect is attributable to direct phospholipid packing modification in the outer leaflet, that is promoted by protonation of cardiolipin headgroups. In this study, we compare the case of cardiolipin-containing giant unilamellar vesicles with that of giant unilamellar vesicles that contain phosphatidylglycerol (PG). Local acidification also promotes formation of tubules in the latter. However, compared with cardiolipin-containing giant unilamellar vesicles the tubules are longer, exhibit a visible pearling, and have a much longer lifetime after acid micro-injection is stopped. We attribute these differences to an additional mechanism that increases monolayer surface imbalance, namely inward PG flip-flop promoted by the local transmembrane pH gradient. Simulations using a fully nonlinear membrane model as well as geometrical calculations are in agreement with this hypothesis. Interestingly, among yeast mutants deficient in cardiolipin biosynthesis, only the crd1-null mutant, which accumulates phosphatidylglycerol, displays significant mitochondrial activity. Our work provides a possible explanation of such a property and further emphasizes the salient role of specific lipids in mitochondrial function.
    Biophysical journal. 08/2014; 107(4):879-890.
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    ABSTRACT: Lipid rafts are assumed to undergo biologically important size-modulations from nanorafts to microrafts. Due to the complexity of cellular membranes, model systems become important tools, especially for the investigation of the factors affecting "raft-like" Lo domain size and the search for Lo nanodomains as precursors in Lo microdomain formation. Because lipid compositional change is the primary mechanism by which a cell can alter membrane phase behavior, we studied the effect of the ganglioside GM1 concentration on the Lo/Ld lateral phase separation in PC/SM/Chol/GM1 bilayers. GM1 above 1mol % abolishes the formation of the micrometer-scale Lo domains observed in GUVs. However, the apparently homogeneous phase observed in optical microscopy corresponds in fact, within a certain temperature range, to a Lo/Ld lateral phase separation taking place below the optical resolution. This nanoscale phase separation is revealed by fluorescence spectroscopy, including of C12NBD-PC self-quenching and Laurdan GP measurements, and is supported by Gaussian spectral decomposition analysis. The temperature of formation of nanoscale Lo phase domains over an Ld phase is determined, and is shifted to higher values when the GM1 content increases. A "morphological" phase diagram could be made, and it displays three regions corresponding respectively to Lo/Ld micrometric phase separation, Lo/Ld nanometric phase separation, and to a homogeneous Ld phase. We therefore show that a lipid only-based mechanism is able to control the existence and the sizes of phase-separated membrane domains. GM1 could act on the line tension, "arresting" domain growth and thereby stabilizing Lo nanodomains.
    Biochimica et biophysica acta. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several cell polarization processes are coupled to local pH gradients at the membrane surface. We have investigated the involvement of a lipid-mediated effect in such coupling. The influence of lateral pH gradients along the membrane surface on lipid microdomain dynamics in giant unilamellar vesicles containing phosphatidylcholine, sphingomyelin, cholesterol and the ganglioside GM1 was studied. Lo/Ld phase separation was generated by photosensitization. A lateral pH gradient was established along the external membrane surface by acid local microinjection. The gradient promotes the segregation of microdomains: Lo domains within an Ld phase move toward the higher pH side, while Ld domains within an Lo phase move toward the lower pH side. This results in a polarization of the vesicle membrane into Lo and Ld phases poles in the axis of the proton source. A secondary effect is inward tubulation in the Ld phase. None of these processes occurs without GM1 or with the analog asialo-GM1. These are therefore related to the acidic character of the GM1 headgroup. LAURDAN fluorescence experiments on large unilamellar vesicles, indicated that, with GM1, an increase in lipid packing occurs with decreasing pH, attributed to the lowering of repulsion between GM1 molecules. Packing increase is much higher for Ld phase vesicles than for Lo phase vesicles. It is proposed that the driving forces for domain vectorial segregative clustering and vesicle polarization are related to such differences in packing variations with pH decrease between the Lo and Ld phases. Such pH-driven domain clustering might play a role in cellular membrane polarization processes in which local lateral pH gradients are known to be important, such as migrating cells and epithelial cells.
    Langmuir 11/2012; · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study the deformation of a lipid membrane in response to a local pH modification. Experimentally, a basic solution is microinjected close to a giant unilamellar vesicle. A local deformation appears in the zone of the membrane that is closest to the micropipette, and relaxes when the injection is stopped. A theoretical description of this phenomenon is provided. It takes fully into account the spatiotemporal evolution of the concentration of hydroxide ions during and after the microinjection, as well as the linear dynamics of the membrane. This description applies to a local injection of any substance that reacts reversibly with the membrane lipids. We compare experimental data obtained in the domain of small deformations to the results of our linear description, and we obtain a good agreement between theory and experiments. In addition, we present direct experimental observations of the pH profile on the membrane during and after the microinjection, using pH-sensitive fluorescent lipids.
    Biophysical Journal 05/2012; 102(3). · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Nada Khalifat, Nicolas Puff, Mariam Dliaa, Miglena I Angelova
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system which causes irreversible damage to neuron structure and function. The main hypothesis concerning the cause of AD is excessive accumulation of amyloid-β peptides (Aβ). There has recently been a surge in studies on neuronal morphological and functional pathologies related to Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions and morphological alternations. What is the relation between the accumulation of Aβ in mitochondria, decreased production of ATP, and the large number of mitochondria with broken or scarce cristae observed in AD patients' neurons? The problem is complex, as it is now widely recognized that mitochondria function determines mitochondrial inner membrane (IM) morphology and, conversely, that IM morphology can influence mitochondrial functions. In our previous work, we designed an artificial mitochondrial IM, a minimal model system (giant unilamellar vesicle) mimicking the IM. We showed experimentally that modulation of the local pH gradient at the membrane level of cardiolipin-containing vesicles induces dynamic membrane invaginations similar to the mitochondrial cristae. In the present work we show, using our artificial IM, that Aβ renders the membrane unable to support the formation of cristae-like structures when local pH gradient occurs, leading to the failure of this cristae-like morphology. Fluorescent probe studies suggest that the dramatic change of membrane mechanical properties is due to Aβ-induced lipid bilayer dehydration, increased ordering of lipids, loss of membrane fluidity, and possibly to Aβ-induced changes in dynamic friction between the two leaflets of the lipid membrane.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 01/2012; 28(1):33-48. · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electroformed giant unilamellar vesicles containing liquid-ordered Lo domains are important tools for the modeling of the physicochemical properties and biological functions of lipid rafts. Lo domains are usually imaged using fluorescence microscopy of differentially phase-partionioning membrane-embedded probes. Recently, it has been shown that these probes also have a photosensitizing effect that leads to lipid chemical modification during the fluorescence microscopy experiments. Moreover, the lipid reaction products are able as such to promote Lo microdomain formation, leading to potential artifacts. We show here that this photoinduced effect can also purposely be used as a new approach to study Lo microdomain formation in giant unilamellar vesicles. Photosensitized lipid modification can promote Lo microdomain appearance and growth uniformly and on a faster time scale, thereby yielding new information on such processes. For instance, in egg phosphatidylcholine/egg sphingomyelin/cholesterol 50:30:20 (mol/mol) giant unilamellar vesicles, photoinduced Lo microdomain formation appears to occur by the rarely observed spinodal decomposition process rather than by the common nucleation process usually observed for Lo domain formation in bilayers. Moreover, temperature and the presence of the ganglioside GM1 have a profound effect on the morphological outcome of the photoinduced phase separation, eventually leading to features such as bicontinuous phases, phase percolation inversions, and patterns evoking double phase separations. GM1 also has the effect of destabilizing Lo microdomains. These properties may have consequences for Lo nanodomains stability and therefore for raft dynamics in biomembranes. Our data show that photoinduced Lo microdomains can be used to obtain new data on fast raft-mimicking processes in giant unilamellar vesicles.
    Langmuir 12/2011; 27(24):15074-82. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiolipin is a four-tailed acidic lipid found predominantly within the inner membrane of mitochondria, and is thought to be a key component in determining inner membrane properties and potential. Thus, cardiolipin may be involved in the dynamics of the inner membrane characteristic invaginations (named cristae) that protrude into the matrix space. In previous studies, we showed the possibility to induce, by localized proton flow, a macroscopic cristae-like shape remodeling of an only-lipid model membrane mimicking the inner mitochondrial membrane. In addition, we reported a theoretical model describing the dynamics of a chemically driven membrane shape instability caused by a modification of the plane-shape equilibrium density of the lipids in the membrane. In the present work, we focus on the lipid-packing modifications observed in a model cardiolipin-containing lipid membrane submitted to pH decrease because this is the driving force of the instability. Laurdan fluorescence and ζ-potential measurements show that under pH decrease, membrane surface charge decreases, but that significant modification of the lipid packing is observed only for CL-containing membranes. Our giant unilamellar vesicle experiments also indicate that cristae-like morphologies are only observed for CL-containing lipid membranes. Taken together, these results highlight the fact that only a strong modulation of the lipid packing of the exposed monolayer leads to membrane shape instability and suggest that mitochondrial lipids, in particular the cardiolipin, play a specific role under pH modulation in inner mitochondrial membrane morphology and dynamics.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 07/2011; 1808(11):2724-33. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study a dynamical curvature instability caused by a local chemical modification of a phospholipid membrane. In our experiments, a basic solution is microinjected close to a giant unilamellar vesicle, which induces a local chemical modification of some lipids in the external monolayer of the membrane. This modification causes a local deformation of the vesicle, which then relaxes. We present a theoretical description of this instability, taking into account both the change of the equilibrium lipid density and the change of the spontaneous membrane curvature induced by the chemical modification. We show that these two types of changes of the membrane properties yield different dynamics. In contrast, it is impossible to distinguish them when studying the equilibrium shape of a vesicle subjected to a global modification. In our model, the longest relaxation timescale is related to the intermonolayer friction, which plays an important part when there is a change in the equilibrium density in one monolayer. We compare our experimental results to the predictions of our model by fitting the measured time evolution of the deformation height to the solution of our dynamical equations. We obtain good agreement between theory and experiments. Our fits enable us to estimate the intermonolayer friction coefficient, yielding values that are consistent with previous measurements.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 07/2011; 23(28):284102. · 2.22 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 02/2011; 100(3). · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Fredric M. Menger, Miglena I. Angelova
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    ABSTRACT: ChemInform is a weekly Abstracting Service, delivering concise information at a glance that was extracted from about 100 leading journals. To access a ChemInform Abstract of an article which was published elsewhere, please select a “Full Text” option. The original article is trackable via the “References” option.
    ChemInform 01/2010; 30(11).
  • Nada Khalifat, Nicolas Puff, Mariam Dliaa, Miglena I. Angelova
    Biophysical Journal 01/2010; 98(3):382-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    J-B Fournier, N Khalifat, N Puff, M I Angelova
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    ABSTRACT: We report a chemically driven membrane shape instability that triggers the ejection of a tubule growing exponentially toward a chemical source. The instability is initiated by a dilation of the exposed monolayer, which is coupled to the membrane spontaneous curvature and slowed down by intermonolayer friction. Our experiments are performed by local delivery of a basic pH solution to a giant vesicle. Quantitative fits of the data give an intermonolayer friction coefficient b approximately 2x10;{9} J s/m;{4}. The exponential growth of the tubule may be explained by a Marangoni stress yielding a pulling force proportional to its length.
    Physical Review Letters 02/2009; 102(1):018102. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are cell substructures (organelles) critical for cell life, because biological fuel production, the ATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation, occurs in them driven by acidity (pH) gradients. Mitochondria play a key role as well in the cell death and in various fatigue and exercise intolerance syndromes. It is clear now that mitochondria present an astonishing variety of inner membrane morphologies, dynamically correlated with their functional state, coupled with the rate of the ATP synthesis, and characteristic for normal as well as for pathological cases. Our work offers some original insights into the factors that determine the dynamical tubular structures of the inner membrane cristae. We show the possibility to induce, by localized proton flow, a macroscopic cristae-like shape remodeling of an only-lipid membrane. We designed a minimal membrane system (GUV) and experimentally showed that the directional modulation of local pH gradient at membrane level of cardiolipin-containing vesicles induces dynamic cristae-like membrane invaginations. We propose a mechanism and theoretical model to explain the observed tubular membrane morphology and suggest the underlying role of cardiolipin. Our results support the hypothesis of localized bioenergetic transduction and contribute to showing the inherent capacity of cristae morphology to become self-maintaining and to optimize the ATP synthesis.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2008; 95(10):4924-33. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    M Ben Amar, J-M Allain, N Puff, M I Angelova
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the time-dependent distortion of a nearly circular viscous domain in an infinite viscous sheet when suction occurs. Suction, the driving force of the instability, can occur everywhere in the two phases separated by an interface. The model assumes a two-dimensional Stokes flow; the selection of the wavelength at short times is determined by a variational procedure. Contrary to the viscous fingering instability, undulations of the boundary may be observed for enough pumping, whatever the sign of the viscosity contrast between the two fluids involved. We apply our model to the suction by lipoproteins of cholesterol-enriched domains in giant unilamellar vesicles. Comparison of the number of undulations given by the model and by the experiments gives reasonable values of physical quantities such as the viscosities of the domains.
    Physical Review Letters 08/2007; 99(4):044503. · 7.73 Impact Factor
  • Perspectives in Supramolecular Chemistry: Giant Vesicles, Volume 6, 03/2007: pages 272 - 284; , ISBN: 9780470511534
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    ABSTRACT: The liquid-ordered/disordered-phase domain co-existence in large unilamellar vesicle membranes consisting of phosphatidylcholine:sphingomyelin (2:1) with different amounts of cholesterol has been examined using a concentration-dependent self-quenching of a single reporter molecule, C12NBD-PC. A temperature-dependent decrease of fluorescence intensity was associated with the expected formation and increase of l(o)-phase membrane fraction in the vesicles. The result is consistent with exclusion of the fluorescent probe from the liquid-ordered phase which partitions preferentially into the liquid-disordered phase membrane domains. This leads to an increase of the local concentration of fluorophore in the liquid-disordered phase and a decrease of the quantum yield. This effect was used to obtain a quantitative estimation of the fraction of the vesicle membrane occupied by the liquid-ordered phase, Phi(o), as a function of temperature and cholesterol content between 0 and 45 mol%. The value of Phi(o) was related to the assumed partition coefficient k(p) of probe between liquid-ordered/disordered phases. For large unilamellar vesicles containing 20 and 4 mol% cholesterol and probe, respectively, with k(p) = 0 (probe completely excluded from liquid-ordered phase), Phi(o) = 0.16 and with k(p) = 0.2, Phi(o) = 0.2. The results are relevant to the action of detergent in the fractionation of detergent-resistant membrane from living cells.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2006; 1758(4):460-7. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The structural transition stages induced as a result of interaction at 4°C of the Triton X-100 with large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) were studied by means of a sucrose flotation procedure similar to that used to isolate biological detergent resistant membranes (DRMs). Flotation of lipid structures after centrifugation was determined on the basis of the [1α, 2α (n)-3H]-cholesterol content of each fraction of a 40–35–5% sucrose density gradient. We measured the amount of Triton X-100 insoluble floating fractions (TIFFs) for different lipid compositions of large unilamellar vesicles and different effective detergent to lipid ratios. At 4°C and for two-component lipid membrane (PC/SM 2:1,mol/mol), an effective detergent to lipid ratio of 50 is necessary to complete membrane solubilization. When liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered phase domains coexist in the vesicle membrane (PC/SM/Chol 53:27:20, mol/mol), complete solubilization occurs at higher effective detergent to lipid ratio. This is consistent with a higher resistance of the liquid-ordered phase to detergent extraction. Nevertheless, in the case of heterogeneous (lo/ld phase) vesicles, and for a range of effective detergent to lipid ratios promoting incomplete solubilization, we detected in TIFF intermediate density structures which did not exist for two-component lipid membranes (PC/SM 2:1, mol/mol). We interpreted these results in relation with recent findings of our group and propose a mechanism for heterogeneous large unilamellar vesicle solubilization. We show that for lipid bilayers exhibiting lo/ld phase co-existence, a specific effective detergent to lipid ratio allowing the isolation of pre-existing tightly packed ordered domains can be found, but, in any case, certain amount of the detergent is presented in floating fraction membranes.
    Colloids and Surfaces A-physicochemical and Engineering Aspects - COLLOID SURFACE A. 01/2006; 282:402-409.
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of detergents on giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) composed of phosphatidylcholine, sphingomyelin and cholesterol and containing liquid-ordered phase (l(o)) domains was investigated. Such domains have been used as models for the lipid rafts present in biological membranes. The studied detergents included lyso-phosphatidylcholine, the product of phospholipase A2 activity, as well as Triton X-100 and Brij 98, i.e. detergents used to isolate lipid rafts as DRMs. Local external injection of each of the three detergents at subsolubilizing amounts promoted exclusion of l(o) domains from the GUV as small vesicles. The budding and fission processes associated with this vesiculation were interpreted as due to two distinct effects of the detergent. In this framework, the budding is caused by the initial incorporation of the detergent in the outer membrane leaflet which increases the spontaneous curvature of the bilayer. The fission is related to the inverted-cone molecular shape of the detergent which stabilizes positively curved structures, e.g. pores involved in vesicle separation. On the other hand, we observed in GUVs neither domain formation nor domain coalescence to be induced by the addition of detergents. This supports the idea that isolation of DRM from biological membranes by detergent-induced extraction is not an artifact. It is also suggested that the physico-chemical mechanisms involved in l(o) domain budding and fission might play a role in rafts-dependant endocytosis in cells.
    Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 08/2005; 136(1):55-66. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cholesterol efflux from the plasma membrane to HDLs is essential for cell cholesterol homeostasis. Recently, cholesterol-enriched ordered membrane domains, i.e. lipid rafts have been proposed to play an important role in this process. Here we introduce a new method to investigate the role of HDL interactions with the raft lipid phase and to directly visualize the effects of HDL-induced cholesterol efflux on rafts in model membranes. Addition of HDLs to giant lipid vesicles containing raft-type domains promoted decrease in size and disappearance of such domains as visualized by fluorescence microscopy. This was interpreted as resulting from cholesterol efflux from the vesicles to the HDLs. The raft vanishing rate was directly related to the HDL concentration. Evidence for a direct interaction of HDLs with the membrane was obtained by observing mutual adhesion of vesicles. It is suggested that the present method can be used to study the selective role of the bilayer lipid phase (raft and non-raft) in cholesterol efflux and membrane-HDL interaction and their underlying mechanisms. Such mechanisms may contribute to cholesterol efflux in vivo.
    Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 03/2005; 133(2):195-202. · 2.59 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

545 Citations
88.82 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Physics
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
  • 2009–2014
    • Paris Diderot University
      • Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC) UMR 7057
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2011
    • Polytech Paris-UPMC
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1999–2011
    • Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
      • Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering
      Sofia, Oblast Sofiya-Grad, Bulgaria
  • 2010
    • Emory University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2004–2009
    • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2007
    • Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
      • Laboratoire de Physique Statistique
      Paris, Ile-de-France, France
    • ETH Zurich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland