The headgroup orientation of dimyristoylphosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate in mixed lipid bilayers a neutron diffraction study

Jeremy P. Bradshaw, Richard J. Bushby, Colin C.D. Giles, Martin R. Saunders, Anand Saxena

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The trisodium salt of dimyristoylphosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (DMPI-4P) has been synthesised specifically deuterated at particular sites in the headgroup. These materials have been used in neutron diffraction experiments, which successfully located the position (depth) of each of these deuterated sites to within ± 0.5 Å in a mixed model membrane (a 1:1 molar mixture of DMPI-4P with dimyristoyl-phosphatidylcholine DMPC, in the L(α) phase, hydrated to the level of 28 water molecules per lipid molecule). The diffracted intensities were measured at four different D2O/H2O ratios and six orders of diffraction were obtained. These data sets, in conjunction with computer modelling, have been used to determine the orientation of the inositol ring of DMPI-4P, localising each vertical H-H distance to within approximately ± 0.03 Å. The orientation of the inositol ring is found to be one in which the C5 hydroxyl is extended out into the aqueous medium. This is, therefore, the most accessible site for water-borne reagents. This may be significant for the important pathway leading from PI-4P to PI-4,5P2. On the assumption that the P/ODAG bond is orientated parallel to the bilayer normal, these results are consistent with two possible conformations for the portion of the headgroup connecting the diacylglycerol to the inositol ring. Distinction between these two is difficult, but one may be favoured since the other involves close atom-atom contacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-138
Number of pages15
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 1997


  • Biomembrane
  • Dimyristoylphosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate
  • Headgroup orientation
  • Neutron diffraction
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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