6-F-cholesterol was reported to exhibit biological and interfacial properties similar to unmodified cholesterol. We have also found that 6-F-cholesterol mimicked the cholesterol activity observed in the systems of amphotericin B and lipid rafts. However, to use 6-F-cholesterol as a molecular probe to explore molecular recognition in membranes, it is indispensable to have detailed knowledge of the dynamic and orientation properties of the molecule in membrane environments. In this paper, we present the molecular orientation of 6-F-cholesterol (30 mol %) in dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) bilayers revealed by combined use of 19F chemical shift anisotropy (CSA), 2H NMR, and C-F rotational echo double resonance (REDOR) experiments. The axis of rotation of 6-F-cholesterol was shown to be in a similar direction to that of cholesterol in DMPC bilayers, which is almost parallel to the long axis of the molecular frame. The molecular order parameter of 6-F-cholesterol was determined to be ca. 0.85, which is within the range of reported values of cholesterol. These findings suggest that the dynamic properties of 6-F-cholesterol in DMPC are quite similar to those of unmodified cholesterol; therefore, the introduction of a fluorine atom at C6 has virtually no effect on cholesterol dynamics in membranes. In addition, this study demonstrates the practical utility of theoretical calculations for determining the 19F CSA principal axes, which would be extremely difficult to obtain experimentally. The combined use of quantum calculations and solid-state 19F NMR will make it possible to apply the orientation information of 19F CSA tensors to membrane systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry