Low-Temperature Dynamical Transition in Lipid Bilayers Detected by Spin-Label ESE Spectroscopy
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Data on neutron scattering in biological systems show low-temperature dynamical transition between 170 and 230 K manifesting itself as a drastic increase of the atomic mean-squared displacement, 〈x2〉, detected for hydrogen atoms in the nano- to picosecond time scale. For spin-labeled systems, electron spin echo (ESE) spectroscopy—a pulsed version of electron paramagnetic resonance—is also capable of detection of dynamical transition. A two-pulse ESE decay in frozen matrixes is induced by spin relaxation arising from stochastic molecular librations, and allows to obtain the 〈α2〉τc parameter, where 〈α2〉 is a mean-squared angular amplitude of the motion and τc is the correlation time lying in the sub- and nanosecond time ranges. In this work, the ESE technique was applied to spin-labeled amphiphilic molecules of three different kinds embedded in bilayers of fully saturated 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) and mono-unsaturated 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) lipids. Two-pulse ESE data revealed the appearance of stochastic librations above 130 K, with the parameter 〈α2〉τc obeying the Arrhenius type of temperature dependence and increasing remarkably above 170–180 K. A comparison with a dry sample suggests that onset of motions is not related with lipid internal motions. Three-pulse ESE experiments (resulting in stimulated echos) in DPPC bilayers showed the appearance of slow molecular rotations above 170–180 K. For D2O-hydrated bilayers, ESE envelope modulation experiments indicate that isotropic water molecular motions in the nearest hydration shell of the bilayer appear with a rate of ~ 105 s−1 in the narrow temperature range between 175 and 179 K. The similarity of the experimental data found for three different spin-labeled compounds suggests a cooperative character for the ESE-detected molecular motions. The data were interpreted within a model suggesting that dynamical transition is related with overcoming barriers, of 10–20 kJ/mol height, existing in the system for the molecular reorientations.
This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Project # 18-43-540004.
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