Modulation of the bilayer to hexagonal phase transition of phosphatidylethanolamines by acylglycerols.


The effect of mono-, di- and triacylglycerols on the bilayer to hexagonal phase (HII) transition was studied by differential scanning calorimetry and 31P-NMR spectroscopy. The acylglycerols were mixed with either dielaidoylphosphatidylethanoline or with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylethanolamine. Acylglycerols of lauric, oleic and stearic acids were utilized. All of the acylglycerols lowered the bilayer to HII phase transition temperature. Diacylglycerols were much better HII phase promoters than monoacylglycerols while triacylglycerols were the most potent bilayer phase destabilizers. Fatty acid composition generally had less of an effect except for the monoacylglycerols where bilayer destabilization increased from monolaurin to monostearin to monoolein. The most marked difference in behaviour resulting from changes in the fatty acid composition of the acylglycerol occurred with tristearin. This was the only acylglycerol which decreased the bilayer to HII phase transition temperature only below a mol fraction of 0.005. Above this mol fraction, further addition of tristearin had no effect on the bilayer to HII phase transition. These results suggest that the tristearin has limited solubility in phosphatidylethanolamine.


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