Use of beta-parinaric acid, a novel fouorimetric probe, to determine characteristic temperatures of membranes and membrane lipids from cultured animal cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • A naturally occurring fluorescent compound, beta-parinaric acid, was employed as a probe to measure the effects of temperature changes on plasma membrenes, microsomes, and mitochondria and on their respective lipids after isolation form LM cells grown in suspension culture. A computer-centered spectrofluorimenter simultaneously measured the absorbance, absorbance-corrected fluorescence, and relative fluorescence efficiency of beta-parinaric acid incorporated into the membranes or isolated membrane lipids. These parameters were measured as a function of temperature. The probe revealed five characteristic breaks or changes in slope with both the plasma membranes as well as their extracted lipids. These discontinuities occurred at approximately 18, 23, 31, 38, and 43 degrees. The other isolated subcellular organelles, microsomes, and mitochondria, as well as their respective isolated lipids, exhibited approximately the same characteristic temperatures (+/- 1 degree) as plasma membranes. Thus, these data negate one criterion of the theory that an asymmetric distribution of characteristic temperatures exist across the membranes of LM cells.

author list (cited authors)

  • Schroeder, F., Holland, J. F., & Vagelos, P. R.

citation count

  • 50

complete list of authors

  • Schroeder, F||Holland, JF||Vagelos, PR

publication date

  • November 1976