PCB association with model phospholipid bilayers

Andrew S. Campbell, Yan Yu, Steve Granick, Andrew A. Gewirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We compare the association of an ortho-substituted and a planar PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls PCB-52 and PCB-77, respectively) with single-component phospholipid bilayers terminated with phosphocholine headgroups. First, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) studies of diffusion on supported fluid-phase DLPC show that the ortho-substituted PCB diffuses more slowly, indicating either complex formation or obstructed diffusion. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) of vesicles formed from DMPC shows that the gel-to-fluid phase transition temperature is lowerfor vesicles containing this ortho-substituted PCB. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows that, whereas supported bilayers of DMPC containing this ortho-substituted PCB display two melting points, bilayers containing the coplanar PCB display just a single melting point. A model is proposed in which the ortho-substituted PCB resides within the lipid tails of these phospholipid bilayers but the coplanar PCB associates preferentially with the headgroups. This model is consistent with the known membrane disruptive ability of the ortho substituted isomer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7496-7501
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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