Role of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipid peroxidation in LM fibroblast plasma membrane transbilayer structure. Academic Article uri icon


  • The effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipid peroxidation on LM fibroblast plasma membrane individual leaflet sterol distribution and structural order were examined. The cytofacial (inner) leaflet was more rigid and contained more sterol than the exofacial (outer) leaflet. The static (limiting anisotropy) and dynamic (rotational relaxation time) structural components of diphenylhexatriene (DPH) motion in each leaflet were determined by phase and modulation fluorometry measurements combined with leaflet-specific quenching by trinitrophenyl groups. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, incorporated into the membrane phospholipids by culture medium supplementation, decreased the limiting anisotrophy of DPH in the cytofacial but not the exofacial leaflet thereby abolishing the transbilayer difference in fluidity. Peroxidation by Fe(II) + H2O2 resulted in a rigidification (increase in limiting anisotropy and rotational relaxation time) of the plasma membrane exofacial leaflet, regardless of whether the membranes contained saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids or were enriched in either linoleate or linolenate. The structure of the cytofacial leaflet reported by DPH was unaffected. Plasma membrane transbilayer sterol distribution, measured by leaflet-specific quenching of dehydroergosterol fluorescence, indicated that 20-28% of the sterol was localized in the exofacial leaflet. Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of LM fibroblasts resulted in a complete reversal of plasma membrane transbilayer sterol distribution (72-76% exofacial leaflet). Sterol transbilayer distribution between the membrane leaflets was completely resistant to alteration by exposure to crosslinking agents and peroxidation in control plasma membranes and by peroxidation in linoleate- or linolenate-supplemented membranes.

published proceedings

  • Arch Biochem Biophys

author list (cited authors)

  • Schroeder, F., Kier, A. B., & Sweet, W. D.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Schroeder, F||Kier, AB||Sweet, WD

publication date

  • January 1990