The main phospholipid (MPL) of Thermoplasma acidophilum
DSM 1728 was isolated, purified and physico-chemically characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)/differential thermal analysis (DTA) for its thermotropic behavior, alone and in mixtures with other lipids, cholesterol, hydrophobic peptides and pore-forming ionophores. Model membranes from MPL were investigated; black lipid membrane, Langmuir-Blodgett monolayer, and liposomes. Laboratory results were compared to computer simulation. MPL forms stable and resistant liposomes with highly proton-impermeable membrane and mixes at certain degree with common bilayer-forming lipids. Monomeric bacteriorhodopsin and ATP synthase from Micrococcus luteus
were co-reconstituted and light-driven ATP synthesis measured. This review reports about almost four decades of research on Thermoplasma
membrane and its MPL as well as transfer of this research to Thermoplasma
species recently isolated from Indonesian volcanoes.
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