Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 7, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

The impact of physiological crowding on the diffusivity of membrane bound proteins

Author affiliations

Abstract

Diffusion of transmembrane and peripheral membrane-bound proteins within the crowded cellular membrane environment is essential to diverse biological processes including cellular signaling, endocytosis, and motility. Nonetheless we presently lack a detailed understanding of the influence of physiological levels of crowding on membrane protein diffusion. Utilizing quantitative in vitro measurements, here we demonstrate that the diffusivities of membrane bound proteins follow a single linearly decreasing trend with increasing membrane coverage by proteins. This trend holds for homogenous protein populations across a range of protein sizes and for heterogeneous mixtures of proteins of different sizes, such that protein diffusivity is controlled by the total coverage of the surrounding membrane. These results demonstrate that steric exclusion within the crowded membrane environment can fundamentally limit the diffusive rate of proteins, regardless of their size. In cells this “speed limit” could be modulated by changes in local membrane coverage, providing a mechanism for tuning the rate of molecular interaction and assembly.

Graphical abstract: The impact of physiological crowding on the diffusivity of membrane bound proteins

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 16 Oct 2015, accepted on 04 Jan 2016 and first published on 05 Jan 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02572A
Soft Matter, 2016,12, 2127-2134

  •   Request permissions

    The impact of physiological crowding on the diffusivity of membrane bound proteins

    J. R. Houser, D. J. Busch, D. R. Bell, B. Li, P. Ren and J. C. Stachowiak, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 2127
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM02572A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements