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Issue 3, 2017
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Electrostatic interactions at the microscale modulate dynamics and distribution of lipids in bilayers

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Abstract

For decades, it has been assumed that electrostatic long-range (micron distances) repulsions in lipid bilayers are negligible due to screening from the aqueous milieu. This concept, mostly derived from theoretical calculations, is broadly accepted in the biophysical community. Here we present experimental evidence showing that domain–domain electrostatic repulsions in charged and also in neutral lipid bilayers regulate the diffusion, in-plane structuring and merging of lipid domains in the micron range. All the experiments were performed on both, lipid monolayers and bilayers, and the remarkable similarity in the results found in bilayers compared to monolayers led us to propose that inter-domain repulsions occur mainly within the plane of the membrane. Finally, our results indicate that electrostatic interactions between the species inserted in a cell membrane are not negligible, not only at nanometric but also at larger distances, suggesting another manner for regulating the membrane properties.

Graphical abstract: Electrostatic interactions at the microscale modulate dynamics and distribution of lipids in bilayers

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Aug 2016, accepted on 13 Dec 2016 and first published on 13 Dec 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01957A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 686-694
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    Electrostatic interactions at the microscale modulate dynamics and distribution of lipids in bilayers

    A. Mangiarotti and N. Wilke, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 686
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01957A

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