Light scattering measurements on gangliosides: Dependence of micellar properties on molecular structure and temperature

Laura Cantù, Mario Corti, Sandro Sonnino, Guido Tettamanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Static and dynamic laser light scattering measurements on micellar aqueous solutions of gangliosides GM2, GM1, GD1a are reported. The aggregation number, the hydrodynamic radius and the micellar shape depend on the type of ganglioside and the unsaturation degree of the hydrocarbon chains. At a temperature of 25°C the molecular weights of GM2, GM1 and GD1a are 740 000, 470 000 and 418 000 DA respectively. A significant decrease of micellar size with temperature has been found for saturated GM1 in the region 25° - 40°C. The strong sensitivity of the micellar parameters to the ganglioside structure is explained by making reference to some simple model which takes into account geometrical packing considerations. By measuring the scattered light intensity at low ionic strength of the solution (0.1-30 mE) it was possible to evaluate the ganglioside micellar charge, 100 electronic units for GM2, 48 for GM1 and 60 for GD1a.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-328
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1986



  • gangliosides
  • light scattering
  • micellar charge
  • micellar shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics

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