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4) Symposium Posters | Main^

P2. The effect of Small Hydrophobic Gas Molecules on Detergent-induced Hemolysis.

1992 Annual Biophysical Society Meeting, Feb. 9-13, Houston, TX.
H. Batliwala, T. Somasundaram, E. Uzgiris, and L. Makowski
Dept. of Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215; GE Research & Development Center, Schenectady, NY 12301.

The hemolytic action of the detergents triton X-100, n-octly b-D-glucopyranoside (N-ob) and palmitoyl lysophosphatidylcholine were studied in the presence of partial pressures of methane (CH4) and nitrogen (N2) up to 640 atmospheres. At concentrations of N-ob below 0.3% the gas molecules provided protection against detergent-induced hemolysis comparable to their well documented action to protect against hypotonic hemolysis. Protection was not observed for the other detergents. At higher detergent concentrations, the gases substantially enhanced the hemolytic action of the detergents. In appropriate aqueous buffer, methane appears to cause complete hemolysis in the absence of detergents, even at relatively modest pressures (500 atm. or less). At 1 atm. partial pressure, the concentration of methane in water is 1.5 mM; at 1000 atm. it is about 0.5 M. Amphipahtic solvents consisting of standard buffers with small hydrophobic gas molecules added through applied pressure may have use in a broad range of applications requiring total or partial disruption of membrane structure under mild conditions.

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