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The biophysical properties of ethanolamine plasmalogens revealed by atomistic molecular dynamics simulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta: Biomembranes
Issue number1
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Given the importance of plasmalogens in cellular membranes and neurodegenerative diseases, a better understanding of how plasmalogens affect the lipid membrane properties is needed. Here we carried out molecular dynamics simulations to study a lipid membrane comprised of ethanolamine plasmalogens (PE-plasmalogens). We compared the results to the PE-diacyl counterpart and palmitoyl-oleyl-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayers. Results show that PE-plasmalogens form more compressed, thicker, and rigid lipid bilayers in comparison with the PE-diacyl and POPC membranes. The results also point out that the vinyl-ether linkage increases the ordering of sn-1 chain substantially and the ordering of the sn-2 chain to a minor extent. Further, the vinyl-ether linkage changes the orientation of the lipid head group, but it does not cause changes in the head group and glycerol backbone tilt angles with respect to the bilayer normal. The vinyl-ether linkage also packs the proximal regions of the sn-1 and sn-2 chains more closely together which also decreases the distance between the rest of the sn-1 and sn-2 chains.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Lipid membrane, Molecular dynamics, Neurodegenerative diseases, Plasmalogens

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland