The interaction of UO2(2+) with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) has been studied as a function of temperature and composition using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and monolayer studies. Computer simulations of the 31P-NMR powder spectra of DPPC dispersions in the presence of various concentrations of UO2(2+) are consistent with the binding stoichiometry of [UO2(2+)]/[DPPC] = 1:4 at [UO2(2+)]/[DPPC] less than 0.3. This complex undergoes a phase transition to the liquid crystalline phase at T'm = 50 +/- 3 degrees C with a breadth delta T'm = 7 +/- 3 degrees C. This broad transition gradually disappears at higher UO2(2+) concentrations, suggesting the presence of yet another UO2(2+)/DPPC complex (or complexes) whose NMR spectra are indistinguishable from those of the 1:4 UO2(2+)/DPPC species. The temperature-dependent 13C powder spectra of 2(1–13C) DPPC dispersions in the presence of 1.2 mol ratio of UO2(2+) show that this higher order complex (complexes) also undergoes a phase transition to the liquid crystalline state at T'm +/- = 58 +/- 3 degrees C with a breadth delta T"m = 15 +/- 5 degrees C. The NMR spectra indicate that exchange among these various UO2(2+)/DPPC complexes is slow. In addition, computer simulations of the 31P-, 13C-, and 2H-NMR powder spectra show that axial diffusion of the DPPC molecules about their long axes is quenched by addition of UO2(2+) and acyl chain isomerization is the dominant motional mode. The isomerization is best described as two-site hopping of the greater than C-D bond at a rate of approximately 10(6) s-1, a motional mode which is expected for a kink diffusion.
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