CAS #: 19408-84-5
Molecular formula: C18H27NO3
Molucular weight: 305.41
Capsaicin is a natural compound with pharmacological and toxicological effects, which given its hydrophobicity, can influence the structure of membranes. The interaction of capsaicin with model membranes of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and dielaidoylphosphatidylethanolamine has been studied by using differential scanning calorimetry, fluorescent probe spectroscopy and 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance. Capsaicin remarkably affects the phase transition of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine, shifting the transition temperature to lower values, and giving rise, at relatively high capsaicin concentrations, to the appearance of two peaks in the thermogram. Capsaicin, at relatively low concentrations, gives rise to immiscible phases in the presence of dielaidoylphosphatidylethanolamine and decrease the temperature of the lamellar to hexagonal HII phase transition. At concentrations of capsaicin higher than 0.3 mol fraction, isotropic phases were detected. The possible implications of the effects of capsaicin on biological membranes are discussed.
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