Phosphatidylethanolamine; Hydrogen-bonds; Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy; Freeze fracture electron microscopy
The structure of phosphatidylethanolamine in pure dry hexane was studied. Viscosity measurements show that the hexane solution of PE has a very high viscosity, while freeze fracture electron microscopy revealed extensive fibre-like structures. These extended structures are disrupted by the addition of small amounts of water or organic solvents which are capable of hydrogen-bonding. The Fourier transform infrared spectra of the lipid solutions in dry and hydrated hexane show considerable differences in the phosphate and ethanolamine absorption bands, and demonstrate that the viscous fibre-like structures formed by phosphtidylethanolamine in dry hexane consist of extended intermolecular hydrogen-bonds, similar to those found in the solid lipid, with the ammonium group as the hydrogen-donor and the phosphate group as the hydrogen-acceptor. The high viscosity is not observed in hexane solution of phosphatidylcholine.
Chemistry and Physics of Lipids47, no. 2: 109–116.