Effect of Melatonin and Cholesterol on the Structure of DOPC and DPPC Membranes

TitleEffect of Melatonin and Cholesterol on the Structure of DOPC and DPPC Membranes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDrolle, E., N. Kucerka, M. Hoopes, Y. Choi, J. Katsaras, M. Karttunen, and Z. Leonenko
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes
Start Page2247
Date Published09/2013
Keywordscholesterol, lipid membrane, melatonin, molecular dynamics simulations, small-angle neutron diffraction (SAND), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS)

The cell membrane plays an important role in the molecular mechanism of amyloid toxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease. The membrane's chemical composition and the incorporation of small molecules, such as melatonin and cholesterol, can alter its structure and physical properties, thereby affecting its interaction with amyloid peptides. Both melatonin and cholesterol have been recently linked to amyloid toxicity. Melatonin has been shown to have a protective role against amyloid toxicity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of this protection is still not well understood, and cholesterol's role remains controversial. We used small-angle neutron diffraction (SAND) from oriented lipid multi-layers, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) from unilamellar vesicles experiments and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to elucidate non-specific interactions of melatonin and cholesterol with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) model membranes. We conclude that melatonin decreases the thickness of both model membranes by disordering the lipid hydrocarbon chains, thus increasing membrane fluidity. This result is in stark contrast to the much accepted ordering effect induced by cholesterol, which causes membranes to thicken.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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