Mechanism of Cholesterol Exchange between Phospholipid Vesicles1-

Jonathan M. Backer, Eliezar A. Dawidowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The kinetics of cholesterol exchange between two populations of small unilamellar vesicles has been investigated. There is no change in the initial rate of this exchange process over a 100-fold change in the acceptor vesicle concentration at a constant donor concentration. These results are not consistent with a collision-dependent exchange mechanism. In support of transfer via the aqueous phase, the inclusion of a negatively charged lipid into the vesicles did not affect the exchange rate. Evidence for a water-soluble pool of cholesterol that had partitioned out of the vesicle was obtained. Finally, cholesterol exchange was observed when donor and acceptor membranes were separated by a barrier through which neither could pass. These data together support our contention that the exchange of cholesterol between these vesicles involves a water-soluble intermediate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3805-3810
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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