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Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1390; doi:10.3390/molecules22081390

The Potential of α-Spinasterol to Mimic the Membrane Properties of Natural Cholesterol

1
Department of Biology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstr. 42, D-10115 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics, Leipzig University, Härtelstr. 16–18, D-04107 Leipzig, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 19 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
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Abstract

Sterols play a unique role for the structural and dynamical organization of membranes. The current study reports data on the membrane properties of the phytosterol (3β,5α,22E)-stigmasta-7,22-dien-3-β-ol (α-spinasterol), which represents an important component of argan oil and have not been investigated so far in molecular detail. In particular, the impact of α-spinasterol on the structure and organization of lipid membranes was investigated and compared with those of cholesterol. Various membrane parameters such as the molecular packing of the phospholipid fatty acyl chains, the membrane permeability toward polar molecules, and the formation of lateral membrane domains were studied. The experiments were performed on lipid vesicles using methods of NMR spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy. The results show that α-spinasterol resembles the membrane behavior of cholesterol to some degree. View Full-Text
Keywords: cholesterol; α-spinasterol; membrane structure; membrane permeability; lateral domains; NMR; fluorescence cholesterol; α-spinasterol; membrane structure; membrane permeability; lateral domains; NMR; fluorescence
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Haralampiev, I.; Scheidt, H.A.; Huster, D.; Müller, P. The Potential of α-Spinasterol to Mimic the Membrane Properties of Natural Cholesterol. Molecules 2017, 22, 1390.

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