Edward Lyman's picture

Following last year's publication of our DPPC/DOPC/Chol simulations, we are happy to report the publication of similarly designed simulations that incorporate palmitoyl sphingomyelin, which will also be highlighted by a "New and Notable" perspective by Jerry Feigenson. In stark contrast to DPPC, the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane is rich in sphingolipids, particularly PSM. Sphingolipids are distinguished from their glycero-lipid cousins by an amide in the backbone, which forms robust hydrogen bonds with cholesterol and other sphingomyelin. This in turn leads to important differences in the nanoscale structure of the liquid ordered phase, as compared to DPPC-based mixtures.