1. Steroid molecules containing the α,β-unsaturated oxo group in various positions were incorporated with egg phosphatidylcholine into liposomes and into human erythrocyte membranes. 2. The liposomes formed contained 0.3–0.94mol of steroid/mol of phospholipid and the steroids replaced 19–76% of the erythrocyte membrane sterol. 3. The optical rotatory dispersion (o.r.d.) spectra of the steroids in these structures were compared with those obtained in solvents of different polarity. 4. The o.r.d. spectra of cholesta-4,6-dien-3-one and 3-hydroxycholest-3-en-2-one in liposomes resembled those obtained with polar solvents such as ethanol or triethyl phosphate–water (1:1, v/v). 5. The o.r.d. spectra of 3-hydroxycholest-7-en-6-one and 3-hydroxycholest-5-en-7-one in liposomes resembled those obtained with moderately polar solvents such as dioxan. 6. The o.r.d. spectrum of 3-hydroxycholest-8(14)-en-15-one in liposomes resembled those obtained with non-polar solvents such as cyclohexane. 7. 3-Hydroxycholest-3-en-2-one did not exchange with erythrocyte membrane cholesterol, but the other steroids did do so and the o.r.d. spectra of the membranes containing them closely resembled those obtained with liposomes. 8. From the results, the position of sterol molecules with respect to the phospholipid molecules in liposomes and membranes of human erythrocyte ‘ghosts’ can be deduced.

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