NMR-based conformational analysis of sphingomyelin in bicelles

Toshiyuki Yamaguchi, Takashi Suzuki, Tomokazu Yasuda, Tohru Oishi, Nobuaki Matsumori, Michio Murata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Sphingomyelin (SM) is a common sphingolipid in mammalian membranes and is known to be substantially involved in cellular events such as the formation of lipid rafts. Despite its biological significance, conformation of SM in a membrane environment remains unclear because the noncrystalline property and anisotropic environment of lipid bilayers hampers the application of X-ray crystallography and NMR measurements. In this study, to elucidate the conformation of SM in membranes, we utilized bicelles as a substitute for a lipid bilayer membrane. First, we demonstrated through 31P NMR, 2H NMR, and dynamic light scattering experiments that SM forms both oriented and isotropic bicelles by changing the ratio of SM/dihexanoyl phosphatidylcholine. Then, we determined the conformation of SM in isotropic bicelles on the basis of coupling constants and NOE correlations in 1H NMR and found that the C2-C6 and amide groups of SM take a relatively rigid conformation in bicelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
Number of pages9
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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