Molecular dynamics simulations of ternary membrane mixture: phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidic acid, and cholesterol.
ABSTRACT: A ternary mixture of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidic acid (POPA), and cholesterol (CHOL) works effectively for a functional conformation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) that can undergo agonist-induced conformation changes, but POPC alone can stabilize only a desensitized state of nAChR. To gain insights into the lipid mixture that has strong impact to nAChR functions, we performed more than 50 ns all atom molecular dynamic (MD) simulations at 303 K on a fully hydrated bilayer consisting of 240 POPC, 80 POPA, and 80 CHOL (3:1:1). The MD simulation revealed various interactions between different types of molecular pairs that ultimately regulated lipid organization. The heterogeneous interactions among three different constituents resulted in a broad spectrum of lipid properties, including extensive distributions of average area per lipid and varied lipid ordering as a function of lipid closeness to CHOL. Higher percentage of POPA than POPC had close association with CHOL, which coincided with relatively higher ordering of POPA molecules in their acyl chains near lipid head groups. Lower fraction of gauche dihedrals was also found in the same region of POPA. Although the CHOL molecules had the effects on the enhancement of surrounding lipid order, relatively low lipid order parameters and high fraction of gauche bonds were observed in the ternary mixture. Collectively, these results suggest that the dynamical structure of the ternary system could be determinant for a functional nAChR.
Project description:Anionic lipids and cholesterols (CHOL) are critical to the function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). We investigated their interactions with an open- and closed-channel alpha4beta2 nAChR by over 10 ns molecular dynamics simulations in a ternary lipid mixture of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine (POPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidic acid (POPA), and CHOL with a ratio of 3:1:1 (Haddadian et al., J. Phys. Chem. B 2008, 112, 13981). On average there were 65 and 74 interfacial lipids around the closed- and open-channel alpha4beta2 nAChR, respectively, in the equilibrated simulation systems. In the open-channel system, 42% of the interfacial POPA had acyl chains partially inserted into intra- or intersubunit cavities, as compared to only 7% in the closed-channel alpha4beta2. No CHOL was found in cavities within single subunits, though some CHOL infiltrated into the gaps between subunits. Because of its smaller headgroup, POPA could access some nonannular sites where POPC could not easily reach due to steric exclusion. Furthermore, POPA acted not only as an acceptor for hydrogen bonding (H bonding) as POPC did, but also as a donor through its hydroxyl group for H bonding with the backbone of the protein. The charged headgroup of POPA allowed the lipid to form stable salt bridges with conserved Arg and Lys residues at the interfaces of the transmembrane (TM) and extracellular (EC) or intracellular (IC) domains of the alpha4beta2. A higher number of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds (H bonds) between POPA and the alpha4beta2 nAChR were found in the open system than in the closed system, suggesting a potential role of POPA in the equilibrium between different channel states. Most interfacial POPA molecules showed lower order parameters than the bulk POPA due to the mixed effect of gauche defects, hydrophobic mismatch, and the lipid orientations near the magic angle. These unique properties enable the interfacial POPA to achieve what POPC cannot with regard to specific interactions with the protein, thereby making POPA essential for the function of nAChR.
Project description:Chemically simplified lipid mixtures are used here as models of the cell plasma membrane exoplasmic leaflet. In such models, phase separation and morphology transitions controlled by line tension in the liquid-disordered (Ld)?+?liquid-ordered (Lo) coexistence regime have been described . Here, we study two four-component lipid mixtures at different cholesterol fractions: brain sphingomyelin (BSM) or 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)/1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC)/cholesterol (Chol). On giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) display a nanoscopic-to-macroscopic transition of Ld?+?Lo phase domains as POPC is replaced by DOPC, and this transition also depends on the cholesterol fraction. Line tension decreases with increasing cholesterol mole fractions in both lipid mixtures. For the ternary BSM/DOPC/Chol mixture, the published phase diagram  requires a modification to show that when cholesterol mole fraction is >~0.33, coexisting phase domains become nanoscopic.
Project description:Membrane raft size measurements are crucial to understanding the stability and functionality of rafts in cells. The challenge of accurately measuring raft size is evidenced by the disparate reports of domain sizes, which range from nanometers to microns for the ternary model membrane system sphingomyelin (SM)/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC)/cholesterol (Chol). Using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), we established phase diagrams for porcine brain SM (bSM)/dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/Chol and bSM/POPC/Chol at 15 and 25°C. By combining two techniques with different spatial sensitivities, namely FRET and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), we have significantly narrowed the uncertainty in domain size estimates for bSM/POPC/Chol mixtures. Compositional trends in FRET data revealed coexisting domains at 15 and 25°C for both mixtures, while SANS measurements detected no domain formation for bSM/POPC/Chol. Together these results indicate that liquid domains in bSM/POPC/Chol are between 2 and 7nm in radius at 25°C: that is, domains must be on the order of the 2-6nm Förster distance of the FRET probes, but smaller than the ~7nm minimum cluster size detectable with SANS. However, for palmitoyl SM (PSM)/POPC/Chol at a similar composition, SANS detected coexisting liquid domains. This increase in domain size upon replacing the natural SM component (which consists of a mixture of chain lengths) with synthetic PSM, suggests a role for SM chain length in modulating raft size in vivo.
Project description:For canonical lipid raft mixtures of cholesterol (chol), N-palmitoylsphingomyelin (PSM), and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) of spin-labeled phospholipids--which is insensitive to domain size--is used to determine the ternary phase diagram at 23°C. No phase boundaries are found for binary POPC/chol mixtures, nor for ternary mixtures with PSM content <24 mol %. EPR lineshapes indicate that conversion from the liquid-disordered (L(?)) to liquid-ordered (L(o)) phase occurs continuously in this region. Two-component EPR spectra and several tie lines attributable to coexistence of gel (L(?)) and fluid phases are found for ternary mixtures with low cholesterol or low POPC content. For PSM/POPC alone, coexistence of L(?) and L(?) phases occurs over the range 50-95.5 mol % PSM. A further tie line is found at 3 mol % chol with endpoints at 50 and ?77 mol % PSM. For PSM/chol, L(?)-L(o) coexistence occurs over the range 10-38 mol % chol and further tie lines are found at 4.5 and 7 mol % POPC. Two-component EPR spectra indicative of fluid-fluid (L(?)-L(o)) phase separation are found for lipid compositions: 25%<PSM<65%, 5%<chol<30-35%, 65%>POPC>10%, and confirmed by nonlinear EPR. Tie lines are identified in the L(?)-L(o) coexistence region, indicating that the fluid domains are of sufficient size to obey the phase rule. The three-phase triangle is bounded approximately by the compositions 40 and 75 mol % PSM with 10 mol % chol, and 60 mol % PSM with 25 mol % chol. These studies define the compositions of raft-like L(o) phases for a minimal realistic biological lipid mixture.
Project description:Biomembranes with as few as three lipid components can form coexisting liquid-disordered (Ld) and liquid-ordered (Lo) phases. In the coexistence region of Ld and Lo phases, the lipid mixtures 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)/1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/chol or brain sphingomyelin (bSM)/DOPC/chol form micron-scale domains that are easily visualized with light microscopy. Although large domains are not observed in the mixtures DSPC/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC)/chol and bSM/POPC/chol, lateral heterogeneity is nevertheless detected using techniques with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. We propose a simple and accessible method to measure domain sizes below optical resolution (?200 nm). We measured nanodomain size for the latter two mixtures by combining experimental Förster resonance energy transfer data with a Monte-Carlo-based analysis. We found a domain radius of 7.5-10 nm for DSPC/POPC/chol, similar to values obtained previously by neutron scattering, and ?5 nm for bSM/POPC/chol, slightly smaller than measurable by neutron scattering. These analyses also detect the domain-size transition that is observed by fluorescence microscopy in the four-component lipid mixture bSM/DOPC/POPC/chol. Accurate measurements of fluorescent-probe partition coefficients are especially important for the analysis; therefore, we exploit three different methods to measure the partition coefficient of fluorescent molecules between Ld and Lo phases.
Project description:We report the first 4-component phase diagram for the lipid bilayer mixture, DSPC/DOPC/POPC/chol (distearoylphosphatidylcholine/dioleoylphosphatidylcholine/1-palmitoyl, 2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine/cholesterol). This phase diagram, which has macroscopic Ld+Lo phase domains, clearly shows that all phase boundaries determined for the 3-component mixture containing DOPC transition smoothly into the boundaries for the 3-component mixture containing POPC, which has nanoscopic phase domains of Ld+Lo. Our studies start from two published ternary phase diagrams, and show how these can be combined into a quaternary phase diagram by study of a few hundred samples of intermediate compositions.
Project description:In this Data in Brief article we provide a data package of GROMACS input files for atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of multicomponent, asymmetric lipid bilayers using the OPLS-AA force field. These data include 14 model bilayers composed of 8 different lipid molecules. The lipids present in these models are: cholesterol (CHOL), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (POPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylethanolamine (POPE), 1-stearoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine (SOPE), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylserine (POPS), 1-stearoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylserine (SOPS), N-palmitoyl-D-erythro-sphingosyl-phosphatidylcholine (SM16), and N-lignoceroyl-D-erythro-sphingosyl-phosphatidylcholine (SM24). The bilayers? compositions are based on lipidomic studies of PC-3 prostate cancer cells and exosomes discussed in Llorente et al. (2013) , showing an increase in the section of long-tail lipid species (SOPS, SOPE, and SM24) in the exosomes. Former knowledge about lipid asymmetry in cell membranes was accounted for in the models, meaning that the model of the inner leaflet is composed of a mixture of PC, PS, PE, and cholesterol, while the extracellular leaflet is composed of SM, PC and cholesterol discussed in Van Meer et al. (2008) . The provided data include lipids? topologies, equilibrated structures of asymmetric bilayers, all force field parameters, and input files with parameters describing simulation conditions (md.mdp). The data is associated with the research article "Interdigitation of Long-Chain Sphingomyelin Induces Coupling of Membrane Leaflets in a Cholesterol Dependent Manner" (Róg et al., 2016) .
Project description:Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6) is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) that influences immunological, metabolic, and neurological responses through complex mechanisms. One structural mechanism by which DHA exerts its biological effects is through its ability to modify the physical organization of plasma membrane signaling assemblies known as sphingomyelin/cholesterol (SM/chol)-enriched lipid rafts. Here we studied how DHA acyl chains esterified in the sn-2 position of phosphatidylcholine (PC) regulate the formation of raft and non-raft domains in mixtures with SM and chol on differing size scales. Coarse grained molecular dynamics simulations showed that 1-palmitoyl-2-docosahexaenoylphosphatylcholine (PDPC) enhances segregation into domains more than the monounsaturated control, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC). Solid state 2H NMR and neutron scattering experiments provided direct experimental evidence that substituting PDPC for POPC increases the size of raft-like domains on the nanoscale. Confocal imaging of giant unilamellar vesicles with a non-raft fluorescent probe revealed that POPC had no influence on phase separation in the presence of SM/chol whereas PDPC drove strong domain segregation. Finally, monolayer compression studies suggest that PDPC increases lipid-lipid immiscibility in the presence of SM/chol compared to POPC. Collectively, the data across model systems provide compelling support for the emerging model that DHA acyl chains of PC lipids tune the size of lipid rafts, which has potential implications for signaling networks that rely on the compartmentalization of proteins within and outside of rafts.
Project description:The liquid-liquid (Ld + Lo) coexistence region within a distearoyl-phosphatidylcholine/dioleoyl-phosphatidylcholine/palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol (DSPC/DOPC/POPC/CHOL) mixture displays a nanoscopic-to-macroscopic transition of phase domains as POPC is replaced by DOPC. Previously, we showed that the transition goes through a modulated phase regime during this replacement, in which patterned liquid phase morphologies are observed on giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). Here, we describe a more detailed investigation of the modulated phase regime along two different thermodynamic tielines within the Ld + Lo region of this four-component mixture. Using fluorescence microscopy of GUVs, we found that the modulated phase regime occurs at relatively narrow DOPC/(DOPC+POPC) ratios. This modulated phase window shifts to higher values of DOPC/(DOPC+POPC) when CHOL concentration is increased, and coexisting phases become closer in properties. Monte Carlo simulations reproduced the patterns observed on GUVs, using a competing interactions model of line tension and curvature energies. Sufficiently low line tension and high bending moduli are required to generate stable modulated phases. Altogether, our studies indicate that by tuning the lipid composition, both the domain size and morphology can be altered drastically within a narrow composition space. This lends insight into a possible mechanism whereby cells can reorganize plasma membrane compartmentalization simply by tuning the local membrane composition or line tension.
Project description:Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of a mono-cis-unsaturated 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayer and a POPC bilayer containing 50mol% cholesterol (POPC-Chol50) were carried out for 200ns to compare the spatial organizations of the pure POPC bilayer and the POPC bilayer saturated with Chol. The results presented here indicate that saturation with Chol significantly narrows the distribution of vertical positions of the center-of-mass of POPC molecules and POPC atoms in the bilayer. In the POPC-Chol50 bilayer, the same moieties of the lipid molecules are better aligned at a given bilayer depth, forming the following clearly separated membrane regions: the polar headgroup, the rigid core consisting of steroid rings and upper fragments of the acyl chains, and the fluid hydrocarbon core consisting of Chol chains and the lower fragments of POPC chains. The membrane surface of the POPC-Chol50 bilayer is smooth. The results have biological significance because the POPC-Chol50 bilayer models the bulk phospholipid portion of the fiber-cell membrane in the eye lens. It is hypothesized that in the eye lens cholesterol-induced smoothing of the membrane surface decreases light-scattering and helps to maintain lens transparency.