Thermotropic behavior of binary mixtures of diplamitoylphosphatidylcholine and glycosphingolipids in aqueous dispersions

Bruno Maggio, Toshio Ariga, Julian M. Sturtevant, Robert K. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The thermotropic behavior of mixtures of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) with natural glycosphingolipids (galactosylceramide, phrenosine, kerasine, glucosylceramide, lactosylceramide, asialo-GM1, sulfatide, GM3, GM1, GD1a, GT1b) in dilute aqueous dispersions were studied by high sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry over the entire composition range. The pretransition of DPPC is abolished and the cooperativity of the main transition decreases sharply at mole fractions of glycosphingolipids below 0.2. All systems exhibit non-ideal temperature-composition phase diagrams. The mono- and di-hexosylceramides are easily miscible with DPPC when the proportion of glycosphingolipids in the system is high. A limited quantity (1-6 molecules of DPPC per molecule of glycosphingolipid (GSL) can be incorporated into a homogeneously mixed lipid phase. Domains of DPPC, immiscible with the rest of a mixed GSL-DPPC phase that shows no cooperative phase transition, are established as DPPC exceeds a certain proportion in the system. One negative charge (sulfatide) or four neutral carbohydrate residues (asialo-GM1) in the oligosaccharide chain of the glycosphingolipids results in phase diagrams exhibiting coexistence of gel and liquid phases over a broad temperature-composition range. Systems containing gangliosides show complex phase diagrams, with more than one phase transition. However, no evidence for phase-separated domains of pure ganglioside species is found. The thermotropic behavior of systems containing DPPC and glycosphingolipids correlates well with their interactions in mixed monolayers at the air/water interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 8 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine
  • Glycosphingolipid
  • Phase transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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