Molecular Dynamics Analysis of Cardiolipin and Monolysocardiolipin on Bilayer Properties.


The mitochondrial lipid cardiolipin (CL) contributes to the spatial protein organization and morphological character of the inner mitochondrial membrane. Monolysocardiolipin (MLCL), an intermediate species in the CL remodeling pathway, is enriched in the multisystem disease Barth syndrome. Despite the medical relevance of MLCL, a detailed molecular description that elucidates the structural and dynamic differences between CL and MLCL has not been conducted. To this end, we performed comparative atomistic molecular dynamics studies on bilayers consisting of pure CL or MLCL to elucidate similarities and differences in their molecular and bulk bilayer properties. We describe differential headgroup dynamics and hydrogen bonding patterns between the CL variants and show an increased cohesiveness of MLCL's solvent interfacial region, which may have implications for protein interactions. Finally, using the coarse-grained Martini model, we show that substitution of MLCL for CL in bilayers mimicking mitochondrial composition induces drastic differences in bilayer mechanical properties and curvature-dependent partitioning behavior. Together, the results of this work reveal differences between CL and MLCL at the molecular and mesoscopic levels that may underpin the pathomechanisms of defects in cardiolipin remodeling.

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