Letter | Published:

State of molecular motion of cholesterol in lecithin bilayers

Naturevolume 256pages582584 (1975) | Download Citation



CHOLESTEROL is a major constituent of many biological membranes. Although its exact function is not completely understood, a large number of studies have indicated that cholesterol can affect the packing of lipid hydrocarbon chains, both in model and in biological membranes1. The interaction is envisaged to be such that above the thermal phase transition temperature (Tc), cholesterol inhibits flexing of the hydrocarbon chains, whereas below Tc it prevents the chains from crystallising into the rigid α gel2–6.

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  1. A. A. Noyes Laboratory of Chemical Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, 91125

    •  & SUNNEY I. CHAN


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