Cardiolipin (CL) is a membrane phospholipid containing four fatty acid chains. CL plays an important role in energy transformation in mitochondria. The disorder of CL biosynthesis is involved in a genetic disease, Barth syndrome. Alteration of fatty acid composition of CLs has been found in Barth syndrome patients, i.e., the decrease of unsaturated fatty acid chains. In this study, we investigated how the degree of saturation alters the structure of CL bilayers by using X-ray scattering. Bovine heart CL and two synthetic CLs were compared. Fatty acid compositions of these three CLs have different saturation. Small-angle X-ray scattering data showed that the decrease of the number of double bonds in the unsaturated fatty acid chains causes to thicken the CL bilayers. In addition, wide-angle X-ray scattering data suggested that the decrease reduces the degree of disorder of the hydrophobic region in a liquid crystalline phase. These results may be related to the dysfunction of mitochondria in Barth syndrome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)