Published In

Biophysical Journal

Document Type


Publication Date



Lipophilic ions -- Adsorption, Membranes (Biology), Hydrocarbons -- Effect on adsorption


We measured the dependence of electrophoretic mobility of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) vesicles on the aqueous concentration of negatively charged ions of pentachlorophenol (PCP), dipicrylamine (DPA), and tetraphenylborate (TPhB). The objective was to determine how the physical state of hydrocarbon chains of lipids affects adsorption of lipophilic ions. The studies were done at 25 and 42 degrees C to determine adsorption properties of DPPC membrane in the gel and fluid state, respectively. From the analysis of zeta-potential isotherms in terms of Langmuir-Stern-Grahame model we obtained the association constant, K, the area of the adsorption site, Ps, and the linear partition coefficient, beta. Results: K, (x 10(4)M-1): K(gel): PCP (0.49 +/- 0.28), DPA (25 +/- 10), TPhB (31 +/- 10); K(fluid): PCP (4.5 +/- 0.9), DPA (74 +/- 21), TPhB (59 +/- 14); Ps, (nm2): Ps(gel): PCP (5.4 +/- 2.3), DPA (5.9 +/- 2), TPhB (5.0 +/- 1.7); Ps(fluid): PCP (4.5 +/- 0.4), DPA (5.2 +/- 0.4), TPhB (4.1 +/- 0.2); beta, (x 10(-5) m): beta(gel): PCP (0.15 +/- 0.09), DPA (7.1 +/- 0.3), TPhB (10 +/- 7); beta(fluid): PCP (1.7 +/- 0.3), DPA (24 +/- 7), TPhB (24 +/- 6). It was interesting to find that the adsorption site area for PCP, DPA, and TPhB were very similar for both the gel and fluid membranes; also, the areas were independent of the size and molecular structure of the adsorbing species. Using a simple discrete charge model the adsorption site areas for all species were consistent with a dielectric constant of 8–10 and with an ion adsorption depth of 0.4–0.6 nm below the water/dielectric interface. The delta delta G0 = delta G0(gel) - delta G0(fluid) was found to be about twice as large for PCP than for DPA and TPhB. This indicates that PCP will be significantly more adsorbed in the fluid and disordered regions of biomembranes, whereas the distribution of DPA and TPhB is expected to be relatively more even.


Copyright © 1990 The Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Persistent Identifier

Included in

Biophysics Commons