Regulation of aminophospholipid asymmetry in murine fibroblast plasma membranes by choline and ethanolamine analogues. Academic Article uri icon


  • The regulation of the asymmetric distribution of aminophospholipids in mammalian cell plasma membranes is not understood at this time. One approach to determine the nature of such regulatory mechanisms is to attempt alteration of the plasma membrane phospholipid composition. Choline analogues such as N,N'-dimethylethanolamine and N-monomethylethanolamine lowered the quantity of phosphatidylethanolamine in the plasma membrane of LM fibroblasts grown in defined medium without serum. Ethanolamine supplementation increased the phosphatidylethanolamine content while ethanolamine analogues such as 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol, 2-amino-1-butanol, 1-aminopropanol, and 3-aminopropanol did not alter the aminophospholipid content significantly. The transverse distribution of aminophospholipids in the plasma membrane was determined by use of a chemical labelling reagent trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid. The percent phosphatidylethanolamine trinitrophenylated by trinitrobenzenesulfonate in the outer plasma membrane monolayer of LM cells supplemented with choline analogues was not altered. In contrast, ethanolamine analogue supplementation increased the percentage of aminophospholipid in the outer monolayer 2--3-fold. Ethanolamine analogue-containing phospholipids were distributed asymmetrically across the plasma membrane with 85 to 91% being located in the inner monolayer of the plasma membrane, a distribution similar to that of phosphatidylethanolamine. The fatty acyl composition of aminophospholipids in the outer monolayer was in all cases more saturated than in the corresponding phospholipids of the inner monolayer. However, choline analogues and especially the ethanolamine analogues reduced this difference. Thus, base analogues of choline and ethanolamine may alter the aminophospholipid asymmetry, the surface charge, and the acyl chain asymmetry of LM cell plasma membranes.

published proceedings

  • Biochim Biophys Acta

author list (cited authors)

  • Schroeder, F.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Schroeder, F

publication date

  • June 1980