A Symposium on Calcium and Cellular Function by A.W. Cuthbert

By A.W. Cuthbert

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48, 59 HARRIS, E. J. (1957). Biochim. biophys. Acta, 23, 80. , CHAPMAN, D. & DAWSON, R. M. C. (1969). Biochim. biophys. Acta, 183, 320. HAUSER, H. & DAwsoN, R. M. C. (1967a). Eur. J. , 1, 61 HAUSER, H. & DAWSON, R. M. C. (1967b). Biochem. , 105,401 HAUSER, H. & DAWSON, R. M. C. (1968). Biochem. , 109, 909 HAYDON, D. A. & TAYLOR, J. (1963). J. theoret. , 4, 281 HENDRICKSON, H. S, & FULLINGTON, J. G. (1965). Biochemistry, 4, 1599 HoDGKIN, A. L. & KEYNES, R. D. (1957). J. , 138, 253 HOFER, M. & KLEINZELLER, A.

In measurements on dispersed phospholipid particles the parameters which are related to intermolecular spacing and state of compression are not known. Although early workers assessed the binding of calcium to fatty acid monolayers by direct analyses after skimming them off the water surface (Langmuir & Schaefer, 1936), two other methods for following the interaction are now in general use; these concern interfacial potential measurements and surface radioactivity determinations with 45 Ca. Because the Calcium Binding to Phospholipids 21 latter method has been criticized recently (Shah & Schulman, 1967a), and this criticism reviewed favourably by Bangham (I 968), it is perhaps as well to consider the merits of the two techniques in some detail.

On the other hand, films of the more unsaturated egg lecithin are in a liquid expanded state at all pressures up to collapse on subphases containing calcium (Shah & Schulman, 1967c). Presumably solidification does not occur because the cohesive forces are decreased by unsaturation and the reduced affinity of calcium. The unsaturated 'kink' in the fatty acid carbon chain causes a steric hindrance to the formation of a calcium bridge between adjacent molecules and a rigid structure. Although the surface rheology of monolayers of acidic phospholipid has not been systematically examined it is to be expected that the strong interaction of calcium might cause a solidification.

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