Cholesterol affects spectrin-phospholipid interactions in a manner different from changes resulting from alterations in membrane fluidity due to fatty acyl chain composition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Witold Diakowski
  • Łukasz Ozimek
  • Sylwia Bem
  • Marek Langner
  • Aleksander F Sikorski

Colleges, School and Institutes


We previously showed that erythrocyte and brain spectrins bind phospholipid vesicles and monolayers prepared from phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine and their mixtures with phosphatidylcholine (Review: A.F. Sikorski, B. Hanus-Lorenz, A. Jezierski, A. R. Dluzewski, Interaction of membrane skeletal proteins with membrane lipid domain, Acta Biochim. Polon. 47 (2000) 565). Here, we show how changes in the fluidity of the phospholipid monolayer affect spectrin-phospholipid interaction. The presence of up to 10%-20% cholesterol in the PE/PC monolayer facilitates the penetration of the monolayer by both types of spectrin. For monolayers constructed from mixtures of PI/PC and cholesterol, the effect of spectrins was characterised by the presence of two maxima (at 5 and 30% cholesterol) of surface pressure for erythroid spectrin, and a single maximum (at 20% cholesterol) for brain spectrin. The binding assay results indicated a small but easily detectable decrease in the affinity of erythrocyte spectrin for FAT-liposomes prepared from a PE/PC mixture containing cholesterol, and a 2- to 5-fold increase in maximal binding capacity (B(max)) depending on the cholesterol content. On the other hand, the results from experiments with a monolayer constructed from homogenous synthetic phospholipids indicated an increase in deltapi change with the increase in the fatty acyl chain length of the phospholipids used to prepare the monolayer. This was confirmed by the results of a pelleting experiment. Adding spectrins into the subphase of raft-like monolayers constructed from DOPC, SM and cholesterol (1/1/1) induced an increase in surface pressure. The deltapi change values were, however, much smaller than those observed in the case of a natural PE/PC (6/4) monolayer. An increased binding capacity for spectrins of liposomes prepared from a "raft-like" mixture of lipids could also be concluded from the pelleting assay. In conclusion, we suggest that the effect of membrane lipid fluidity on spectrin-phospholipid interactions is not simple but depends on how it is regulated, i.e., by cholesterol content or by the chemical structure of the membrane lipids.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Animals, Brain, Cholesterol, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Erythrocytes, Fatty Acids, Membrane Fluidity, Phospholipids, Spectrin