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In Search for the Membrane Regulators of Archaea

Abstract : Archaea, the most extremophilic domain of life, contain ether and branched lipids which provide extraordinary bilayer properties. We determined the structural characteristics of diether archaeal-like phospholipids as functions of hydration and temperature by neutron diffraction. Hydration and temperature are both crucial parameters for the self-assembly and physicochemical properties of lipid bilayers. In this study, we detected non-lamellar phases of archaeal-like lipids at low hydration levels, and lamellar phases at levels of 90% relative humidity or more exclusively. Moreover, at 90% relative humidity, a phase transition between two lamellar phases was discernible. At full hydration, lamellar phases were present up to 70ᵒC and no phase transition was observed within the temperature range studied (from 25 °C to 70 °C). In addition, we determined the neutron scattering length density and the bilayer's structural parameters from different hydration and temperature conditions. At the highest levels of hydration, the system exhibited rearrangements on its corresponding hydrophobic region. Furthermore, the water uptake of the lipids examined was remarkably high. We discuss the effect of ether linkages and branched lipids on the exceptional characteristics of archaeal phospholipids.
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Marta Salvador-Castell, Maxime Tourte, Philippe Oger. In Search for the Membrane Regulators of Archaea. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 2019, 20 (18), pp.4434. ⟨10.3390/ijms20184434⟩. ⟨hal-02283370⟩

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