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Title: Bilayer formation with fluorinated amphiphiles and applications in membrane protein studies
Author: Raychaudhuri, Pinky
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Every cell is enclosed by a membrane which gives structure to the cell and allows for the passage of nutrients and wastes into and out of the cell. Membranes are made up of amphiphilic lipid molecules, with one water-soluble end, and one hydrophobic end. Naturally occurring and synthetic membranes are made up of double-chained amphiphiles derived from hydrocarbons. Recently, a novel class of amphiphilic molecules derived from fluorocarbons have been reported. The properties of fluorinated amphiphiles are very different to that of hydrocarbon based amphiphiles. Fluorinated amphiphiles have been previously reported to be useful in the studies of membrane proteins. In this thesis, we explore some novel uses of fluorinated amphiphiles. Chapter one: Provides a comprehensive review of the properties of fluorocarbon-based amphiphiles and discusses the existing uses of fluorinated amphiphiles in biochemical and biomedical research. Chapter two: Describes some of the important materials and methods used in this thesis including a detailed description of the proteins used and the working principles behind the techniques used in the study. Chapter three: Looks at the stability of pre-formed planar lipid bilayers in the presence of fluorinated amphiphiles (F-amphiphiles), and characterizes the behaviour of alpha-haemolysin and other proteins in liposomes and planar lipid bilayers in the presence of F-amphiphiles. We found that F-amphiphiles have an inhibitory effect on the insertion of protein into lipid bilayers, and this property has been exploited to control the number of proteins in the bilayer. Chapter four: Using droplet interface bilayers, we investigate the electrical properties and behaviour of protein(s) in bilayers formed by F-amphiphiles. The results obtained with fluorinated bilayers are compared with results obtained in conventional DPhPC lipid bilayers. This is the first ever report to carry out such an investigation and it provides insights into the formation, stability and utility of fluorinated bilayers. Chapter five: In Chapter five, we explore another aspect of droplet interface bilayers: the feasibility of using droplet interface bilayers to screen for membrane protein libraries. I have chosen to focus on certain fundamental aspects of the screening process that are sufficient to establish the feasibility of the method and to act as the proof of concept. Chapter six: Summarizes all the important results in the thesis and discusses some possible future directions of this project.
Supervisor: Bayley, Hagan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemical biology ; Membrane proteins ; Surface chemistry ; Biophysics ; Fluorinated amphiphiles ; Membranes ; Lipids ; Bilayer ; Electrophsyiology