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Predicting the effect of steroids on membrane biophysical properties based on the molecular structure

, : Predicting the effect of steroids on membrane biophysical properties based on the molecular structure. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1818(3): 896-906

The relationship between sterol structure and the resulting effects on membrane physical properties is still unclear, owing to the conflicting results found in the current literature. This study presents a multivariate analysis describing the physical properties of 83 steroids membranes. This first structure-activity analysis supports the generally accepted physical effects of sterols in lipid bilayers. The sterol chemical substituents and the sterol/phospholipid membrane physical properties were encoded by defining binary variables for the presence/absence of those chemical substituents in the polycyclic ring system and physical parameters obtained from phospholipid mixtures containing those sterols. Utilizing Principal Coordinates Analysis, the steroid population was grouped into five well-defined clusters according to their chemical structures. An examination of the membrane activity of each sterol structural cluster revealed that a hydroxyl group at C3 and an 8 1 carbon isoalkyl side-chain at C17 are mainly present in membrane active sterols having rigidifying, molecular ordering/condensing effects and/or a raft promoting ability. In contrast, sterol chemical structures containing a keto group at C3, a C4-C5-double bond, and polar groups or a short alkyl side-chain at C17 (3 to 7 atoms) are mostly found in sterols having opposite effects. Using combined multivariate approaches, it was concluded that the most important structural determinants influencing the physical properties of sterol-containing mixtures were the presence of an 8 1 carbon C17 isoalkyl side-chain, followed by a hydroxyl group at C3 and a C5-C6 double bond. Finally, a simple Logistic Regression model predicting the dependence of membrane activity on sterol chemical structure is proposed.Structure and steroid activity on membranes was expressed by binary variables. Multivariate analysis provides insights on the structure-depending actions of steroids. An 8 1 carbons chain at C17 and a hydroxyl at C3 are the most relevant traits. Some chemical groups display opposite effects on steroid behavior. A structure-depending model predicts steroid activity on membranes.


PMID: 22230349

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2011.12.021

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