Fluorescence lifetimes of carbocyanine lipid analogues in phospholipid bilayers

Biochemistry. 1985 Sep 10;24(19):5176-81. doi: 10.1021/bi00340a033.


The fluorescence lifetimes for the 1,1'-dialkyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine (CNdiI) dyes (N = 12, 18, and 22) in a variety of lipid bilayer membranes were measured. Effects of bilayer physical state, probe chain length, probe concentration, charge, lipid head group, and cholesterol concentration were examined. Even in single-phase membranes these probes did not exhibit single-exponential decays. Rather, the data were fit by biexponential decays with lifetimes of approximately 0.3-0.4 and approximately 0.9-1.3 ns with no significant improvement in chi 2 convergence with the addition of a third component. Average lifetimes were dependent upon lipid phase and to a lesser degree surface charge and the phospholipid head group. In dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC)-cholesterol membranes, the C18diI lifetime was sensitive to membrane reorganizations at both 20 and approximately 33 mol % cholesterol. In egg phosphatidylcholine (EPC) bilayers, the C18diI lifetime was essentially independent of its concentration below 1:10(3).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carbocyanines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Kinetics
  • Lipid Bilayers*
  • Phospholipids
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Carbocyanines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Phospholipids