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Chapter 10

Novel Insights into Membrane Transport from Computational Methodologies

Atomic-resolution imaging of the plasma membrane and its constituents has advanced significantly in recent years. However, membrane transport is profoundly reliant on dynamic processes ranging from highly concerted atomic fluctuations to large-scale conformational changes, which cannot be sufficiently described by static structural information. As a consequence, computational methodologies have become a prominent tool for investigating membrane organisation and dynamics. In particular, molecular dynamics simulation has proven to be a pertinent method for investigating how matter is transported through membranes, either directly through the membrane or via integral membrane proteins, in an appropriate level of detail. In this chapter, a brief overview of molecular dynamics simulations and related methodologies will be provided, and use prototypical biological systems to illustrate how these methods have contributed to our understanding of unassisted diffusion through membranes, passive diffusion through ion channels, signalling through receptors and active transport through transporters.

Publication details

Print publication date
02 Nov 2017
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Chemical Biology