Molecular dynamics simulation study of the effect of halothane on mixed DPPC/DPPE phospholipid membranes

Jorge Alfonso Arvayo-Zatarain, Fernando Favela-Rosales, Claudio Contreras-Aburto, Efrain Urrutia-Banuelos, Amir Maldonado

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4 Scopus citations


We report results of a molecular dynamics simulation study of the effect of one general anesthetic, halothane, on some properties of mixed DPPC/DPPE phospholipid membranes. This is a suitable model for the study of simple, two-phospholipid membrane systems. From the simulation runs, we determined several membrane properties for five different molecular proportions of DPPC/DPPE. The effect of halothane on the studied membrane properties (area per lipid molecule, density of membrane, order parameter, etc.) was rather small. The distribution of halothane is not uniform through the bilayer thickness. Instead, there is a maximum of anesthetic concentration around 1.2 nm from the center of the membrane. The anesthetic molecule is located close to the phospholipid headgroups. The position of the halothane density maximum depends slightly on the DPPC/DPPE molar proportion. Snapshots taken over the plane of the membrane, as well as calculated two-dimensional radial distribution functions show that the anesthetic has no preference for either phospholipid (DPPC or DPPE). Our results indicate that this anesthetic molecule has only small effects on DPPC/DPPE mixed membranes. In addition, halothane displays no preferential location around DPPC or DPPE. This is probably due to the hydrophobic nature of halothane and to the fact that the chosen phospholipids have the same hydrophobic tails.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalJournal of Molecular Modeling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Phospholipid membranes
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Anesthetic
  • Halotane


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