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Report No.

Effect of trehalose on the structure and dynamics of lipid membranes

Masui, Tomomi; Fujiwara, Satoru; Endo, Hitoshi; Nakagawa, Hiroshi   ; Kataoka, Mikio

Water is essential for organisms and desiccation damages the cells severely, and causes death of most organisms. Some organisms, however, known to survive under such arid conditions. This desiccation tolerance has been known to be related to the production of sugars in these organisms. One property which is important for the desiccation tolerance is stabilization of the cell membranes in the fluid phase by limiting the dehydration-induced increase in the gel-fluid transition temperature of the membranes. The membranes not only act as a barrier within or around a cell, but also control transfer of substances across the membranes. Elucidating how sugars interact with the membranes is therefore important for understanding the molecular mechanism of the desiccation tolerance. We investigated the effects of the sugars on the structures and the dynamics of the lipid membranes by small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS), and neutron spin-echo (NSE), techniques.



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