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Structural and Functional Aspects of Nonbilayer Lipids

  • B. de Kruijff
  • P. R. Cullis
  • A. J. Verkleij

Abstract

The bilayer model of the lipid part of biological membranes has been very popular over the past few decades owing to the fact that it provided a rationale for many observations made in the field of membrane biology. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that this bilayer model is incomplete as it does not explain two basic properties of membranes. The first is that next to bilayer-forming lipids there is an abundant occurrence of membrane lipids that after isolation and dispersion at physiological temperatures in aqueous buffers do not adopt a bilayer organization (nonbilayer lipids). Second, during many membrane processes like fusion and lipid flip-flop, (part of) the lipids will (temporarily) leave the bilayer organization (nonbilayer processes). The hypothesis that nonbilayer lipids and the structures they form are actively involved in nonbilayer processes had lead to the proposal of an alternative model of biological membranes (for reviews see Cullis and de Kruijff, 1979; de Kruijff et al., 1980a). In this article we will summarize the present knowledge of the structural and functional properties of these nonbilayer lipids.

Keywords

Biological Membrane Polar Head Group Lipidic Particle Bilayer Model Isotropic Motion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. de Kruijff
    • 1
  • P. R. Cullis
    • 2
  • A. J. Verkleij
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology, and Department of BiochemistryUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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