Biophysics of Membrane Stiffening by Cholesterol and Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2)

Fathima T. Doole, Sudipta Gupta, Teshani Kumarage, Rana Ashkar, Michael F. Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Cell membranes regulate a wide range of phenomena that are implicated in key cellular functions. Cholesterol, a critical component of eukaryotic cell membranes, is responsible for cellular organization, membrane elasticity, and other critical physicochemical parameters. Besides cholesterol, other lipid components such as phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) are found in minor concentrations in cell membranes yet can also play a major regulatory role in various cell functions. In this chapter, we describe how solid-state deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance (2H NMR) spectroscopy together with neutron spin-echo (NSE) spectroscopy can inform synergetic changes to lipid molecular packing due to cholesterol and PIP2 that modulate the bending rigidity of lipid membranes. Fundamental structure–property relations of molecular self-assembly are illuminated and point toward a length and time-scale dependence of cell membrane mechanics, with significant implications for biological activity and membrane lipid–protein interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Area per lipid
  • Cholesterol
  • Membrane elasticity
  • Membrane viscosity
  • Neutron spin-echo
  • PIP2
  • Polymer brush model
  • Solid-stateH NMR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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