Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin-label oximetry allows the oxygen permeability coefficient to be evaluated across homogeneous lipid bilayer membranes and, in some cases, across coexisting membrane domains without their physical separation. The most pronounced effect on oxygen permeability is observed for cholesterol, which additionally induces the formation of membrane domains. In intact biological membranes, integral proteins induce the formation of boundary and trapped lipid domains with a low oxygen permeability. The effective oxygen permeability coefficient across the intact biological membrane is affected not only by the oxygen permeability coefficients evaluated for each lipid domain but also by the surface area occupied by these domains in the membrane. All these factors observed in fiber cell plasma membranes of clear human eye lenses are reviewed here.
Oxygen Model membranes Biological membranes Permeability Cholesterol
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Supported by grants EY015526, EB002052, and EY001931 from the NIH.
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