Author: Leung, Sherry See Wai
Sphingomyelin is a major constituent of most eukaryotic cell plasma membranes. During apoptosis, sphingomyelin is converted into ceramide. It is hypothesized that this conversion induces a structural change in membranes that leads to downstream signaling. Deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is used to create a partial phase diagram of multilamellar aqueous dispersions of palmitoyl sphingomyelin and ceramide in excess water to characterize the structural changes associated with increased ceramide content (0--40 mol$\%$ ceramide) and varying temperature (25--80\degD). The two lipids are fully miscible at high temperatures and at 40 mol$\%$ ceramide. A variety of solid-liquid coexistence phase behavior is observed at lower concentrations. A gel phase is observed at progessively higher temperatures in the sphingomyelin:ceramide membranes as ceramide content increase. This implies that at physiological temperatures, ceramide may increase the gel phase propensity of cell membranes.
Copyright is held by the author.
The author has not granted permission for the file to be printed nor for the text to be copied and pasted. If you would like a printable copy of this thesis, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Thewalt, Jenifer
Member of collection