Studies on lipid membranes by two-dimensional Fourier transform ESR: Enhancement of resolution to ordering and dynamics

R. H. Crepeau, S. Saxena, S. Lee, B. Patyal, J. H. Freed

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The first two-dimensional Fourier-transform electron spin resonance (2D-FT-ESR) studies of nitroxide-labeled lipids in membrane vesicles are reported. The considerable enhancement this experiment provides for extracting rotational and translational diffusion rates, as well as orientational ordering parameters by means of ESR spectroscopy, is demonstrated. The 2D spectral analysis is achieved using theoretical simulations that are fit to experiments by an efficient and automated nonlinear least squares approach. These methods are applied to dispersions of 1-palmitoyl-2oleoyl-sn-glycerophosphatidylcholine (POPC) model membranes utilizing spin labels 1-palmitoyl-2-(16-doxyl stearoyl) phosphatidylcholine and the 3-doxyl derivative of cholestan-3-one (CSL). Generally favorable agreement is obtained between the results obtained by 2D-FT-ESR on vesicles with the previous results on similar systems studied by continuous wave (cw) ESR on aligned samples. The precision in determining the dynamic and ordering parameters is significantly better for 2D-FT-ESR, even though the cw ESR spectra from membrane vesicles are resolved more poorly than those from well aligned samples. Some small differences in results by the two methods are discussed in terms of limitations of the methods and/or theoretical models, as well as possible differences between dynamic molecular structure in vesicles versus aligned membranes. An interesting observation with CSL/POPC, that the apparent homogeneous linewidths seem to increase in "real time," is tentatively attributed to the effects of slow director fluctuations in the membrane vesicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1504
Number of pages16
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994


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