Équipes de recherche
Paper: Non-Lamellar Phases in Archaeal Lipids... New membrane structures
It is now well established that cell membranes are much more than a barrier that separate the cytoplasm from the outside world. Regarding membrane's lipids and their self-assembling, the system is highly complex, for example, the cell membrane needs to adopt different curvatures to be functional. This is possible thanks to the presence of non-lamellar-forming lipids, which tend to curve the membrane. Here, we present the effect of squalane, an apolar isoprenoid molecule, on an archaea-like lipid membrane. The presence of this molecule provokes negative membrane curvature and forces lipids to self-assemble under inverted cubic and inverted hexagonal phases. Such non-lamellar phases are highly stable under a broad range of external extreme conditions, e.g. temperatures and high hydrostatic pressures, confirming that such apolar lipids could be included in the architecture of membranes arising from cells living under extreme environments.