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Issue 17, 2009
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Asymmetric nature of lateral pressure profiles in supported lipid membranes and its implications for membrane protein functions

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Abstract

The study of lipid membrane structure and phase behavior at the nano-scale is of utmost importance due to implications in understanding the interplay of lipids and membrane proteins in biochemical membrane processes. Supported lipid bilayers play a key role in providing the means to understand real biological systems. Yet, with regard to membrane protein activation and their functions, the limitations of supported membranes and the possible artifacts they may induce are weakly understood. Here, we study DPPC (dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine) bilayers on a weakly hydrophilic substrate using coarse grained simulations and show that the lateral pressure profile of a supported bilayer is distinctly different from the corresponding pressure profile for a free-standing DPPC bilayer. The results indicate that due to the substrate, the lateral pressure profile becomes asymmetric, expressing major peaks at the proximal leaflet of the membrane, implying the membrane to be under strong tension. The results provide a new mechanism to explain malfunctions of transmembrane proteins used in supported bilayers.

Graphical abstract: Asymmetric nature of lateral pressure profiles in supported lipid membranes and its implications for membrane protein functions

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jan 2009, accepted on 18 May 2009 and first published on 28 May 2009


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/B901664C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2009,5, 3258-3261
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    Asymmetric nature of lateral pressure profiles in supported lipid membranes and its implications for membrane protein functions

    C. Xing, O. H. S. Ollila, I. Vattulainen and R. Faller, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 3258
    DOI: 10.1039/B901664C

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