Condensed complexes of cholesterol and phospholipids

Arun Radhakrishnan, Harden M. McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


Mixtures of dihydrocholesterol and phospholipids form immiscible liquids in monolayer membranes at the air-water interface under specified conditions of temperature and 2-dimensional pressure. In recent work it has been discovered that a number of these mixtures exhibit two upper miscibility critical points. Pairs of upper critical points can be accounted for by a theoretical model that implies the cooperative formation of molecular complexes of dihydrocholesterol and phospholipid molecules. These complexes are calculated to be present in the membranes both above and below the critical points. Below the critical points the complexes form a separate phase, whereas above the critical points the complexes are completely miscible with the other lipid components. The cooperativity of complex formation prompts the use of the terminology condensed complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1517
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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