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The role of lipid chains as determinants of membrane stability in the presence of styrene

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c02332 DOI Help

Authors: Vivien Yeh (University of Nottingham) , Alice Goode (University of Nottingham) , David Johnson (Lucite International) , Nathan Cowieson (Diamond Light Source) , Boyan B. Bonev (University of Nottingham)
Co-authored by industrial partner: Yes

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Langmuir

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 16125 , 21035

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Biofermentative production of styrene from renewable carbon sources is crucially dependent on strain tolerance and viability at elevated styrene concentrations. Solvent-driven collapse of bacterial plasma membranes limits yields and is technologically restrictive. Styrene is a hydrophobic solvent that readily partitions into the membrane interior and alters membrane-chain order and packing. We investigate styrene incorporation into model membranes and the role lipid chains play as determinants of membrane stability in the presence of styrene. MD simulations reveal styrene phase separation followed by irreversible segregation into the membrane interior. Solid state NMR shows committed partitioning of styrene into the membrane interior with persistence of the bilayer phase up to 67 mol % styrene. Saturated-chain lipid membranes were able to retain integrity even at 80 mol % styrene, whereas in unsaturated lipid membranes, we observe the onset of a non-bilayer phase of small lipid aggregates in coexistence with styrene-saturated membranes. Shorter-chain saturated lipid membranes were seen to tolerate styrene better, which is consistent with observed chain length reduction in bacteria grown in the presence of small molecule solvents. Unsaturation at mid-chain position appears to reduce the membrane tolerance to styrene and conversion from cis- to trans-chain unsaturation does not alter membrane phase stability but the lipid order in trans-chains is less affected than cis.

Journal Keywords: Vesicles; Lipids; Styrenes; Membranes; Hydrophobicity

Diamond Keywords: Bacteria

Subject Areas: Materials, Chemistry, Environment

Instruments: B21-High Throughput SAXS

Added On: 20/01/2022 14:20


Discipline Tags:

Earth Sciences & Environment Biotechnology Climate Change Chemistry Materials Science Engineering & Technology Organic Chemistry Polymer Science

Technical Tags:

Scattering Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)