The dependence of glyceroglycolipid orientation and dynamics on head-group structure. Academic Article uri icon


  • The head-group orientations and molecular dynamics of three glyceroglycolipids in aqueous dispersions, as determined by 2H-NMR, are compared. 1,2-Di-O-tetradecyl-3-O-(alpha-D-glucopyranosyl)-sn-glycerol (alpha-DTGL) and 1,2-di-O-tetradecyl-3-O-(alpha-D-mannopyranosyl)-sn-glycerol (alpha-DTML), selectively 2H-labelled on the pyranose ring, at the exocyclic hydroxymethyl group, and at C3 of glycerol, have been studied by 2H-NMR and the results compared with those reported earlier for 1,2-di-O-tetradecyl-3-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-sn-glycerol (beta-DTGL). The alpha-glucolipid exhibits a gel-to-liquid crystal phase transition and a lamellar to hexagonal mesophase transition at temperatures which are similar to those of the beta-anomer, beta-DTGL. However, alpha-DTGL exhibits head group orientations and molecular ordering in the lamellar and hexagonal phases which differ strikingly with those reported for the corresponding beta-glucolipid. Whereas the head group of beta-DTGL is extended away from the bilayer surface into the aqueous phase, that of alpha-DTGL is almost parallel to the bilayer surface. alpha-DTGL exhibits a molecular order parameter of 0.56 which is substantially greater than that of its anomer, beta-DTGL, 0.45. The latter indicates that the head group region of the alpha-glyceroglucolipid is characterized by smaller angular fluctuations than that of beta-DTGL. On entering the hexagonal mesophase the pyranose ring of the beta-glucolipid undergoes a large reorientation relative to the motional axis of the head group, whereas the alpha-anomer exhibits only a small orientational change. 1,2-Di-O-tetradecyl-3-O-(alpha-D-mannopyranosyl)-sn-glycerol (alpha-DTML) undergoes a phase transition at 47 degrees C, attributed to the unusual lamellar gel to hexagonal phase transition. The pyranose ring of alpha-DTML, in a mixture with dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (1:9 mol ratio) to give a lamellar liquid crystalline phase, is oriented away from the bilayer surface into the aqueous environment and has an Smol of 0.75. The results for alpha-DTML, 2H-labelled at the C3 position of glycerol, suggest that this segment also has high molecular ordering. alpha-DTML in a lamellar environment has the least flexible membrane surface of the glyceroglycolipids investigated to date. 2H-NMR spin lattice relaxation times have been used to probe the head group motions of the glycolipids. The results indicate that the rate of head group motion increases in the order alpha-DTML less than alpha-DTGL less than beta-DTGL.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Biochim Biophys Acta

author list (cited authors)

  • Jarrell, H. C., Wand, A. J., Giziewicz, J. B., & Smith, I. C.

citation count

  • 64

complete list of authors

  • Jarrell, HC||Wand, AJ||Giziewicz, JB||Smith, IC

publication date

  • February 1987