Phase Transition of a DPPC Bilayer Induced by an External Surface Pressure: From Bilayer to Monolayer Behavior. A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study

University of Cordoba (Spain), Cordoue, Andalusia, Spain
Langmuir (Impact Factor: 4.46). 07/2006; 22(13):5818-24. DOI: 10.1021/la0602315
Source: PubMed


Understanding the lipid phase transition of lipid bilayers is of great interest from biophysical, physicochemical, and technological points of view. With the aim of elucidating the structural changes that take place in a DPPC phospholipid bilayer induced by an external isotropic surface pressure, five computer simulations were carried out in a range from 0.1 to 40 mN/m. Molecular dynamics simulations provided insight into the structural changes that took place in the lipid structure. It was seen that low pressures ranging from 0.1 to 1 mN/m had hardly any effect on the structure, electrical properties, or hydration of the lipid bilayer. However, for pressures above 40 mN/m, there was a sharp change in the lipid-lipid interactions, hydrocarbon lipid fluidity, and electrostatic potential, corresponding to the mesomorphic transition from a liquid crystalline state (L(alpha)) to its gel state (P'(beta)). The head lipid orientation remained almost unaltered, parallel to the lipid layer, as the surface pressure was increased, although a noticeable change in its angular distribution function was evident with the phase transition.

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