Characterization of the lipidome and biophysical properties of membranes from high five insect cells expressing mouse P-glycoprotein

Maria João Moreno*, Patrícia Alexandra Teles Martins, Eva F. Bernardino, Biebele Abel, Suresh V. Ambudkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The lipid composition of biomembranes influences the properties of the lipid bilayer and that of the proteins. In this study, the lipidome and the lipid/protein ratio of membranes from High Five™ insect cells overexpressing mouse P-glycoprotein was characterized. This provides a better understanding of the lipid environment in which P-glycoprotein is embedded, and thus of its functional and structural properties. The relative abundance of the distinct phospholipid classes and their acyl chain composition was characterized. A mass ratio of 0.57 ± 0.11 phospholipids to protein was obtained. Phosphatidylethanolamines are the most abundant phospholipids, followed by phos-phatidylcholines. Membranes are also enriched in negatively charged lipids (phosphatidylserines, phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylglycerols), and contain small amounts of sphingomyelins, ceramides and monoglycosilatedceramides. The most abundant acyl chains are monounsaturated, with significant amounts of saturated chains. The characterization of the phospholipids by HPLC-MS allowed identification of the combination of acyl chains, with palmitoyl-oleoyl being the most representative for all major phospholipid classes except for phosphatidylserines, which are mostly saturated. A mixture of POPE:POPC:POPS in the ratio 45:35:20 is proposed for the preparation of simple representative model membranes. The adequacy of the model membranes was further evaluated by characterizing their surface potential and fluidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number426
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomembranes
  • High Five insect cells
  • Lipidome
  • Membrane proteins


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