Peptide–lipid interactions: insights and perspectives†
As the number of membrane proteins in the Protein Data Bank increases, efforts to understand how they interact with their natural environment are increasing in importance. A number of membrane proteins crystallise with lipid molecules implicitly bound at discrete locations that are consistent with the transmembrane regions of the protein. Bioinformatics studies also point to the specific interactions of some amino acids with membrane lipids. The results of experiments using model systems are revealing how these interactions contribute to the stability of both the protein and the membrane in which it is embedded. From a different perspective, the processes involved in the binding of peptides to membrane surfaces to produce a variety of effects are being understood in ever-increasing detail. This review describes current research efforts and thinking in this area.