Author(s): Kappel T, Anken RH, Hanke W, Rahmann H
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Abstract 1. The functional properties of biological membranes depend on their molecular composition. In regard to this, charged glycosphingolipids play an outstanding role in the functional adaptation of membranes to different temperatures. 2. In order to shed some light on the respective functional properties of complex membraneous glycosphingolipids, the effects of altered temperatures (5-40 degrees C) on planar lipid bilayers made from diphytanoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and alamethicin as an ion channel was analyzed in the presence of either a sialoglycosphingolipid (less polar disialoganglioside GD1a or highly polar tetrasialoganglioside GQ1b) or phosphatidylserine (PS; as control). 3. Different to the control bilayers made from DPPC or DPPC + PS, the bilayers containing gangliosides had specific maxima in alamethicin conductance and stabile life times. Changes in pore-state conductances indicate structural effects based on an interaction of the large (negatively charged) ganglioside headgroups with the alamethicin pores. 4. The results concerning open time and closed time of channels seem to be based on the gangliosides changing the viscosity of the bilayer and possibly introducing phase transitions. 5. Thus, the findings suggest that gangliosides (1) directly affect channel molecules via their headgroups and (2) may additionally affect the fluidity of membranes in order to maintain membrane homeoviscosity in areas surrounding ion channels independent from the environmental temperature. 6. The effects of gangliosides may be of special interest in describing the ability of neuronal adaptation of vertebrates to temperature and more general regarding the functional adaptation of neurons.
This article was published in Cell Mol Neurobiol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation