Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2018, vol 216pp. 104-113
α-Tocopherol oxalate (TO), a tocopherol ester derivative, was investigated for its effect on the structural changes of fully hydrated 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) liposomes, as a function of concentration and temperature, by applying differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and DPH fluorescence anisotropy methods. The DSC and DPH anisotropy data indicated that TO embedded into DPPC membrane lowered the enthalpy (ΔHm) and temperature (Tm) of the main phase transition as well its cooperativity. Fluidization of the membrane at a lowered temperature was accompanied by formation of mixed structures of tocopherol-enriched domains. SAXS studies showed the formation of various ordered structures in DPPC gel-phase during incorporation of TO into the bilayer, as evidenced by the existence of lamellar phases with repeat distances (d) of 6.13 and 6.87 nm, assigned to TO-enriched domains and a lamellar, liquid-ordered DPPC phase with d = 8.45 nm at increasing TO concentrations with lowering and broadening of the Bragg peaks, and diffuse scattering, characteristic of a fluid Lα phase, were observed. In DPPC fluid-phase, the increasing presence of TO at low concentrations resulted in the appearance of a liquid-ordered phase with repeat d = 6.9 nm coexistent with a lamellar structure with d = 9.2 nm, assigned to liquid-disordered structures. An increasing repeat distance observed with raising the TO amount in the DPPC bilayer evolved from an increasing interlamellar water layer of increasing thickness. Presence of TO facilitated penetration of water molecules into the acyl chain region which decreased van der Waals interactions in the bilayer. The DSC, SAXS, and fluorescence anisotropy data established that TO exhibited pronounced disruptive activity in DPPC membranes compared to α-tocopherol. The driving force of the observed action was attributed to electrostatic and dipole interactions of the acidic moiety with the polar head group of phospholipids in the interface region of the bilayer.