Cochleate lipid cylinders: formation by fusion of unilamellar lipid vesicles

D. Papahadjopoulos, W. J. Vail, K. Jacobson, G. Poste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


Freeze-fracture electron microscopy was used to study the morphological changes occurring following the addition of Ca2+ to sonicated preparations of phosphatidylserine in aqueous NaCl buffer. Before the addition of Ca2+, preparations contained only small (200-500 Å diameter) spheroidal vesicles. After the addition of Ca2+ (10 mM) and incubation for 1 h at 37°C preparations contained only large (2000-10 000 Å) apparently multilamellar structures many of which were cylindrical in shape. The lamellae in these cylinders appear to be folded in a spiral configuration. Addition of EDTA to these preparations produced large, closed, spherical, unilamellar vesicles. We suggest the name cochleate lipid cylinders for the spiral structures and propose that they are formed by fusion of unilamellar vesicles into large sheets which fold spirally to form cylinders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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