Tässä artikkelisas on tutkittu koko joukko eriälaisia lipidialkoholeja, niiden ominaisuuksia ja miten ne muuntavat solukalvoa.
Alcohol's Effects on Lipid Bilayer Properties
Alcohols are known modulators of lipid bilayer properties. Their biological effects have long been attributed to their bilayer-modifying effects, but alcohols can also alter protein function through direct protein interactions. This raises the question: Do alcohol's biological actions result predominantly from direct protein-alcohol interactions or from general changes in the membrane properties? The efficacy of alcohols of various chain lengths tends to exhibit a so-called cutoff effect (i.e., increasing potency with increased chain length, which that eventually levels off). The cutoff varies depending on the assay, and numerous mechanisms have been proposed such as: limited size of the alcohol-protein interaction site, limited alcohol solubility, and a chain-length-dependent lipid bilayer-alcohol interaction. To address these issues, we determined the bilayer-modifying potency of 27 aliphatic alcohols using a gramicidin-based fluorescence assay. All of the alcohols tested (with chain lengths of 1–16 carbons) alter the bilayer properties, as sensed by a bilayer-spanning channel. The bilayer-modifying potency of the short-chain alcohols scales linearly with their bilayer partitioning; the potency tapers off at higher chain lengths, and eventually changes sign for the longest-chain alcohols, demonstrating an alcohol cutoff effect in a system that has no alcohol-binding pocket.