Johannes Franz, Tristan Bereau, Stefanie Pannwitt, Veerappan Anbazhagan, Alexander Lehr, Udo Nubbemeyer, Ulrich Dietz, Mischa Bonn, Tobias Weidner, and Dirk Schneider, Chemistry - A European Journal (2017)

Impact of nitrated fatty acids on membrane properties

Nitrated fatty acids (NO2-FAs) act as anti-inflammatory signal mediators, albeit the molecular mechanisms behind NO2-FAs’ influence on diverse metabolic and signaling pathways in inflamed tissues are essentially elusive. Here, we combine fluorescence measurements with surface-specific sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy and coarse-grained computer simulations to demonstrate that NO2-FAs alter lipid organization by accumulation at the membrane-water interface. As the function of membrane proteins strongly depends on both, protein structure as well as membrane properties, we consecutively follow the structural dynamics of an integral membrane protein in presence of NO2-FAs. Based on our results, we suggest a molecular mechanism of the NO2-FA in vivo activity: Driven by the NO2-FA-induced lipid layer reorganization, the structure and function of membrane-associated (signaling) proteins is indirectly affected.