Evidence for spontaneous segregation phenomena in mixed micelles of gangliosides

Laura Cantù, Mario Corti, Sandro Sonnino, Guido Tettamanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A light scattering study of the effect of mixing in aqueous solution two gangliosides, GM2 and GT1b, having different hydrophilic headgroups and similar lipid moieties is presented. Mixed micelle formation with spatial segregation of one ganglioside with respect to the other was observed. It is also shown that segregation is a spontaneous phenomenon which is explainable only in terms of simple geometrical arguments, that is by the fact that the large headgroup of GT1b provides the lipidic core of the aggregate with a better shielding from water in the highly curved regions than the smaller headgroup of GM2 can do. This finding may be of help in understanding the behaviour of gangliosides in artificial and natural membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • gangliosides
  • mixed micelles
  • phase separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics


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