Combining Precision Spin-Probe Partitioning With Time-Resolved Fluorescence Quenching To Study Micelles - Application To Micelles Of Pure Lysomyristoylphosphatidylcholine (Lmpc) And Lmpc Mixed With Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate

Micelles of lysomyristoylphosphatidylcholine (LMPC) and mixed micelles of LMPC with anionic detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) have been characterized by spin-probe-partitioning electron paramagnetic resonance (SPPEPR) and time-resolved fluorescence quenching (TRFQ) experiments. SPPEPR is a novel new method to study structure and dynamics in lipid assemblies successfully applied here for the first time to micelles. Several improvements to the computer program used to analyze SPPEPR spectra have been incorporated that increase the precision in the extracted parameters considerably from which micelle properties such as effective water concentration and microviscosity may be estimated. In addition, with this increased precision, it is shown that it is feasible to study the rate of transfer of a small spin probe between micelles and the surrounding aqueous phase by SPPEPR. The rate of transfer of the spin probe di-tert-butyl nitroxide (DTBN) and the activation energy of the transfer process in LMPC and LMPC-SDS micelles have been determined with high precision. The rate of transfer increases with temperature and SDS molar fraction in mixed micelles, while it remains constant with LMPC concentration in pure LMPC micelles. The activation energy of DTBN transfer in pure lysophospholipid micelles does not change with LMPC concentration while it decreases with the increasing molar fraction of SDS in mixed LMPC-SDS micelles. Both this decrease in activation energy and the increase in the rate of transfer are rationalized in terms of an increasing micelle surface area per molecule (decreasing compactness) as SDS molecules are added. This decreasing compactness as a function of SDS content is confirmed by TRFQ measurements showing an aggregation number that decreases from 122 molecules for pure LMPC micelles to 80 molecules for pure SDS micelles. The same increase in surface area per molecule is predicted to increase the effective water concentration in the polar shell of the micelles. This increase in hydration with SDS molar fraction is confirmed by measuring the effective water concentration in the polar shell of the micelles from the hyperfine spacing of DTBN. This work demonstrates the potential to design mixed lysophospholipid surfactant micelles with variable physicochemical properties. Well-defined micellar substrates, in terms of their physicochemical properties, may improve the studies of protein structure and enzyme kinetics.