BMECHE Research Seminar: Manuela Ayee (Dordt University)
Manuela A.A. Ayee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Dordt University
Biophysical Membrane Perturbations by Sterols on the Molecular Level
Elevated blood levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, however, the impact of LDL on membrane cholesterol levels, structure, and function remains poorly understood. Cells exposed to elevated concentrations of circulating lipoproteins experience a subtle membrane increase in the levels of cholesterol and 7-ketocholesterol, as compared to normal conditions. The effect of these physiologically relevant concentration increases on multicomponent model bilayer membranes was investigated using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. Significant changes in the structural and dynamic properties of the bilayer membranes resulted from these subtle increases in sterol levels, with both sterol species inducing decreases in the lateral area and inhibiting lateral diffusion to varying extents. Cholesterol and 7-ketocholesterol, however, exhibited opposite effects on lipid packing and orientation. The results from this study indicate that the subtle increases in membrane sterol levels induced by exposure to lipoproteins result in molecular-scale biophysical perturbation of membrane structure.
When and Where
Open to the Public