Pyrene-labeled lipids: versatile probes of membrane dynamics in vitro and in living cells

Henry J. Pownall, Louis C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Pyrene-labeled analogs of fatty acids have been studied as probes of lipid metabolism in vitro and in cultured cells. Procedures for the synthesis of complex pyrenyl lipids and the analytical methods for their separation and quantification are described. Pyrenyl-lipids have been used to quantify the relationship between lipid structure and the rates of spontaneous lipid transfer. Modifications of these methods have also been used to monitor protein-mediated lipid transfer, lipolysis and lipid translocation across bilayer membranes. According to several criteria, pyrene dodecanoic acid has been identified as a good analog of some naturally occurring fatty acids. Digital imaging microscopy has been used to monitor the rate of accumulation of pyrenyl lipids in living cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-211
Number of pages21
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • digital imaging
  • fluorescence
  • lipid transport
  • lipids
  • lipolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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