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Issue 48, 2020

Diffuso-kinetic membrane budding dynamics

Author affiliations


A wide range of proteins are known to create shape transformations of biological membranes, where the remodelling is a coupling between the energetic costs from deforming the membrane, the recruitment of proteins that induce a local spontaneous curvature C0 and the diffusion of proteins along the membrane. We propose a minimal mathematical model that accounts for these processes to describe the diffuso-kinetic dynamics of membrane budding processes. By deploying numerical simulations we map out the membrane shapes, the time for vesicle formation and the vesicle size as a function of the dimensionless kinetic recruitment parameter K1 and the proteins sensitivity to mean curvature. We derive a time for scission that follows a power law ∼K1−2/3, a consequence of the interplay between the spreading of proteins by diffusion and the kinetic-limited increase of the protein density on the membrane. We also find a scaling law for the vesicle size ∼1/([small sigma, Greek, macron]avC0), with [small sigma, Greek, macron]av the average protein density in the vesicle, which is confirmed in the numerical simulations. Rescaling all the membrane profiles at the time of vesicle formation highlights that the membrane adopts a self-similar shape.

Graphical abstract: Diffuso-kinetic membrane budding dynamics

Supplementary files

Article information

02 Jun 2020
12 Oct 2020
First published
14 Oct 2020

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 10889-10899
Article type

Diffuso-kinetic membrane budding dynamics

R. Rojas Molina, S. Liese, H. Alimohamadi, P. Rangamani and A. Carlson, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 10889 DOI: 10.1039/D0SM01028F

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