Products of phospholipid oxidation can produce lipids with a carbonyl moiety at the end of a shortened lipid acyl tail, such as 1-palmitoyl-2-(5-oxovaleroyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POVPC). The carbonyl tail of POVPC can covalently bond to the free tertiary amine of a phosphatidylethanolamine lipid in a Schiff base reaction to form a conjugate lipid (SCH) with two head groups, and three acyl tails. We investigate the conformations and properties of this unique class of adduct lipids using molecular dynamics simulations, and show that their insertion into lipid bilayers of POPC increases the average cross-sectional area per lipid and decreases bilayer thickness. Significant increase in acyl tail fluidity is only observed at 25% SCH concentration. The SCH occupies a larger area per lipid than expected for a lipid with three acyl tails, owing to the interfacial location of the long spacer between the two head groups of the SCH. Schiff base formation of lipids can alter the concentration, homeostasis and localizations of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanol lipids in membranes, and can therefore influence several membrane-associated processes including fusion and budding. The current work provides the first detailed structural model of this unique new class of lipids that may have important roles to play in modulating membrane properties and cell physiology.
Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta, 2013, Vol 1828, Issue 8, p. 1700-6