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Published December 19, 2018 | public
Journal Article Open

Subtle Changes in Lipid Environment Have Profound Effects on Membrane Oxidation Chemistry


Nature carefully designs the components of amphiphile-composed monolayer and bilayer membranes to deliver specific functions. The compositions of these interfacial layered structures are so delicate that minute modifications can result in huge changes in function. Great effort has been expended to understand membrane physical properties, with only minimum attention given to associated chemical properties. Here we report the first examples of the delicate chemistry associated with membrane amphiphilic components by studying OH-mediated oxidation of six different unsaturated lipids/surfactants and their mixtures at the air–water interface using field-induced droplet ionization mass spectrometry (FIDI-MS). When the packing is loose or perturbed to be loose by other components or prior chemical modification, the double bond is oxidized without cleavage by adding oxygen functionality. In contrast, compact packing results in double bond cleavage through a Criegee intermediate mechanism. We postulate that constrained environments imposed by lipid packing limit the conformations of the reaction intermediates, controlling reaction pathways.

Additional Information

© 2018 American Chemical Society. Received: August 10, 2018; Published: November 21, 2018. This work was supported by the Beckman Institute at Caltech and by NSF grant CHE-1508825 (J.L.B.). The authors declare no completing financial interest.

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Supplemental Material - ja8b08610_si_001.pdf


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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023