X-ray Reflectivity Study of Polylysine Adsorption on the Surface of DMPS Monolayers

Membranes (Basel). 2022 Dec 2;12(12):1223. doi: 10.3390/membranes12121223.


The results of a systematic study on the adsorption of polylysine molecules of different lengths on the surface of a 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine (DMPS) monolayer in the liquid (LE) and condensed (LC) states are presented. A compressibility diagram and the Volta potential were recorded with the Langmuir monolayer technique and further analyzed with the empirical approach. The structure of the monolayer films with adsorbed polypeptides was studied with synchrotron X-ray reflectometry. Two- and three-layer slab models describe the reflectivity data fairly well and reveal both the significant structural changes and the dehydration of the polar groups induced by all polylysines used at the maximal coverage of the monolayer interface in both the LE and LC states. On the one hand, in the LE phase of the monolayer (area per molecule A ≅ 70 Ǻ2), the integrated electron density of the lipid headgroup region is approximately half the density contained in the clean monolayer. This indicates both significant compaction and dehydration in the polar groups of the lipids, caused by the adsorption of polypeptides. On the other hand, in the LC state (A ≅ 40 Ǻ2), the degree of the hydration of the polar region is similar to that for the initial DMPS monolayer. However, both the electron density and the thickness of the head group region differ significantly from the values of these parameters for the clean monolayer in the LC state.

Keywords: Langmuir monolayers; Volta potential; compressibility; electron density profile; lipid hydration; phase transition; polylysine adsorption; polymer films; synchrotron X-ray reflectometry.