Biological lipid hydration: distinct mechanisms of interfacial water alignment and charge screening for model lipid membranes

Clara Magdalena Saak, Lisa B. Dreier, Kevin Machel, Mischa Bonn, Ellen H.G. Backus (Korresp. Autor*in)

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Studying lipid monolayers as model biological membranes, we demonstrate that water molecules interfacing with different model membranes can display preferential orientation for two distinct reasons: due to charges on the membrane, and due to large dipole fields resulting from zwitterionic headgroups. This preferential water orientation caused by the charge or the dipolar field can be effectively neutralized to net-zero water orientation by introducing monolayer counter-charges (i.e. lipids with oppositely charged headgroups). Following the Gouy-Chapman model, the effect of monolayer surface charge on water orientation is furthermore strongly dependent on the electrolyte concentration and thus on the counterions in solution. In contrast, the effect of ions in the subphase on the dipolar alignment of water is zero. As a result, the capability of monolayer counter-charges to null the effect of dipolar orientation is strongly electrolyte-dependent. Notably, the different effects are additive for mixed charged/zwitterionic lipid systems occurring in nature. Specifically, for an E. coli lipid membrane extract consisting of both zwitterionic and negatively charged lipids, the water orientation can be explained by the sum of the constituents. Our results can be quantitatively reproduced using Gouy-Chapman theory, revealing the relatively straightforward electrostatic effects on the hydration of complex membrane interfaces.

Seiten (von - bis)317 - 333
FachzeitschriftFaraday Discussions
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 6 Feb. 2024

ÖFOS 2012

  • 104017 Physikalische Chemie