The biophysical properties of ethanolamine plasmalogens revealed by atomistic molecular dynamics simulations

Tomasz Rog, Artturi Koivuniemi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    Given the importance of plasmalogens in cellular membranes and neurodegenerative diseases, a better understanding of how plasmalogens affect the lipid membrane properties is needed. Here we carried out molecular dynamics simulations to study a lipid membrane comprised of ethanolamine plasmalogens (PE-plasmalogens). We compared the results to the PE-diacyl counterpart and palmitoyl-oleyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayers. Results show that PE-plasmalogens form more compressed, thicker, and rigid lipid bilayers in comparison with the PE-diacyl and POPC membranes. The results also point out that the vinyl-ether linkage increases the ordering of sn-1 chain substantially and the ordering of the sn-2 chain to a minor extent. Further, the vinyl-ether linkage changes the orientation of the lipid head group, but it does not cause changes in the head group and glycerol backbone tilt angles with respect to the bilayer normal. The vinyl-ether linkage also packs the proximal regions of the sn-1 and sn-2 chains more closely together which also decreases the distance between the rest of the sn-1 and sn-2 chains.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-103
    Number of pages7
    JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta: Biomembranes
    Issue number1
    Early online date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Lipid membrane
    • Molecular dynamics
    • Neurodegenerative diseases
    • Plasmalogens

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Cell Biology
    • Biophysics


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