Peroxidation of membrane phospholipids is an important determinant of membrane function. Previously we studied the kinetics of peroxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) residues in model membranes (liposomes) made by sonication of palmitoyllinoleoylphosphatidylcholine (PLPC). Since most biomembranes are negatively-charged, we have now studied the effect of negative surface charge on the kinetics of peroxidation of liposomes made of PLPC and 9% of one of the negatively-charged phospholipids phosphatidylserine (PS) or phosphatidic acid (PA). Peroxidation was initiated by either CuCl2 or AAPH and continuously monitored spectrophotometrically. The following results were obtained: (i) The negative charge had only a slight effect on AAPH-induced peroxidation, but accelerated markedly copper-induced peroxidation of the liposomes, probably by increasing the binding of copper to the membrane surface. (ii) Ascorbic acid (AA) inhibited AAPH-induced but promoted copper-induced peroxidation in all the studied liposomes, probably by enhancing the production of free radicals upon reduction of Cu(II) to Cu(I). (iii) α-Tocopherol (Toc) inhibited AAPH-induced peroxidation in all the studied liposomes, whereas the effect of tocopherol on copper-induced peroxidation varied from being pro-oxidative in PA-containing liposomes, to being extremely anti-oxidative in PS-containing liposomes, even at very low tocopherol concentrations. The significance of the latter unusual protective effect, which we attribute to recycling of tocopherol by a PS-Cu complex, requires further investigation.
- Anionic phospholipids