The transition temperature is another characteristic that depends on the chemical makeup of the phospholipids in the bilayer. Phospholipids with long, saturated fatty acid chains can extensively interact with one another. Consequently, a fair amount of thermal energy is required to overcome these interactions and permit diffusion. Not surprisingly, such bilayers have relatively high transition temperatures. For example, the transition tem- perature for dioctadecanoic phosphatidylcholine (which has two 18-carbon fatty acid chains, fully saturated) is 55.5°C. In contrast, phospholipids that have shorter fatty acid chains or double bonds (which introduce kinks) cannot line up next to each other as well and hence do not interact as well. Con- siderably less energy is required to induce them to partici- pate in diffusion. For example, if we reduce the length of the carbon chain from 18 to 14, the transition temperature falls to 23°C. If we retain 18 carbons but introduce a single, double bond (making the fatty acid chains monounsaturated), the transition temperature also falls dramatically
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