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Behavior of 4-hydroxynonenal in phospholipid membranes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6411-6415
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Part B
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Under conditions of oxidative stress, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) is commonly present in vivo. This highly reactive and cytotoxic compound is generated by oxidation of lipids in membranes and can be easily transferred from a membrane to both cytosol and the extracellular space. Employing time-dependent fluorescence shift (TDFS) method and molecular dynamics simulations, we found that 4-HNE is stabilized in the carbonyl region of a 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) bilayer. 4-HNE is thus able to react with cell membrane proteins and lipids. Stabilization in the membrane is, however, moderate and a transfer of 4-HNE to either extra- or intracellular space occurs on a microsecond time scale. These molecular-level details of 4-HNE behavior in the lipid membrane rationalize the experimentally observed reactivity of 4-HNE with proteins inside and outside the cell. Furthermore, these results support the view that 4-HNE may play an active role in cell signaling pathways.