• K R K Easwaran

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • High resolution nuclear magnetic resonance studies of hen’s egg yolk plasma lipoproteins

      K R K Easwaran K S Raju S Mahadevan

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      High resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of native or protease-treated hen’s egg yolk plasma (very low density lipoproteins) were taken either in water or deuterated water; the protease-treated samples showed a sharpening of choline methyl proton signal of phospholipid, indicating the hindrance of the choline head-group rotation by the phospholipids in the native very low density lipoproteins. With both native and the protease-treated egg yolk plasma, elevated temperatue increased the signal intensity and produced line-sharpening of Q choline methyl protons and the — CH2-C-protons of the methylene group adjacent to the carboxyl group of esterified fatty acids, indicating prior restriction of mobility of these groups. Total extracted lipids of egg yolk plasma containing traces of chloroform, methanol and water (which keep the sample in one phase) also gave similar temperature dependence. Addition of water to the same sample and sonication resulted in the loss of temperature dependence. Frozen and thawed protease-treated egg yolk plasma also behaved in a similar manner. The absence of temperature dependence in these latter two samples is believed to be due to formation of bilayers of phospholipids following phase separation of triglycerides and phospholipids. The results support a model in which the lipoprotein particles of the egg yolk plasma have a lipid-core structure containing triglycerides in the centre with a monomolecular layer of lecithin at the surface, the polar heads of which are surrounded by proteins.

    • Conformational characterisation of valinomycin complexation with barium salts—A nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic study

      S Devarajan K R K Easwaran

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      Conformations of valinomycin and its complexes with Perchlorate and thiocyanate salts of barium, in a medium polar solvent acetonitrile, were studied using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic techniques. Valinomycin was shown to have a bracelet conformation in acetonitrile. With the doubly charged barium ion, the molecule, at lower concentrations, predominantly formed a 1:1 complex. At higher concentrations, however, apart from the 1:1, peptide as well as ion sandwich complexes were formed in addition to a ‘final complex’. Unlike the standard 1:1 potassium complex, where the ion was centrally located in a bracelet conformation, the 1:1 barium complex contained the barium ion at the periphery. The ‘final complex’ appeared to be an open conformation with no internal hydrogen bonds and has two bound barium ions. This complex was probably made of average of many closely related conformations that were exchanging very fast (on nuclear magnetic resonance time scale) among them. The conformation of the ‘final complex’ resembled the conformation obtained in the solid state. Unlike the Perchlorate anion, the thiocyanate anion seemed to have a definite role in stabilising the various complexes. While the conformation of the 1:1 complex indicated a mechanism of ion capture at the membrane interface, the sandwich complexes might explain the transport process by a relay mechanism.

    • Location of valinomycin in lipid vesicles

      M B Sankaram K R K Easwaran

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      The location of the cyclododecadepsipeptide, valinomycin in vesicles formed from two synthetic lipids is studied by differential scanning calorimetry, spin-label partitioning electron paramagnetic resonance and [1H]-nuclear magnetic resonance. The results show that valinomycin is located near the head group region of dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl choline vesicles and in the hydrophobic core of the dimyristoyl phosphatidyl choline vesicles in the liquid crystalline phase.

    • Mechanisms of transmembrane cation transport studied by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

      M B Sankaram B P Shastri K R K Easwaran

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      Several molecules like ionophores, vitamins, ion-binding cyclic peptides, acidic phospholipids, surfactants are known to expose the inner side of vesicles, to the externally added cations. Whereas ionophores and certain other systems bring about these changes by a selective transport (influx) of the cation by specialized mechanisms known as the carrier and channel mechanism, other systems cause lysis and vesicle fusion. These systems have been successfully studied using1H,31 P and13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy after the demonstration, fifteen years ago, of the ability of paramagnetic lanthanide ions to distinguish the inside of the vesicle from the outside. The results of these ’nuclear magnetic resonance kinetics’ experiments are reviewed.

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