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Characterization of Biological Membranes

Structure and Dynamics

Ed. by Nieh, Mu-Ping / Heberle, Frederick A. / Katsaras, John

With contrib. by Bowerman, Charles / Bozelli Junior, José Carlos / Brown, Michael F. / Butler, Paul D. / Chan, Chun / Cheng, Xiaolin / Cherniavskyi, Yevhen / Cheung, Eugene / Chini, Corryn E. / Craig, Andrew F. / Dabney-Smith, Carole / Davis, James H. / Dimova, Rumiana / DiPasquale, Mitchell / Eells, Rebecca / Epand, Richard M. / Fisher, Alessandro / Frank, Kilian / Gorman, Brittney L. / Harroun, Thad A. / Heinrich, Frank / Hoogerheide, David P. / Kelly, Elizabeth G. / Kienzle, Paul A. / Kiessling, Volker / Komorowski, Karlo / Konkolewicz, Dominik / Kraft, Mary / Kučerka, Norbert / Li, Ying / London, Erwin / Lorigan, Gary A. / Lösche, Mathias / Majkrzak, Charles F. / Marquardt, Drew / Nagao, Michihiro / Nguyen, Michael H.L. / Nickels, Jonathan / Poloni, Laura / Sahu, Indra D. / Salditt, Tim / Schick, Michael / Schmidt, Miranda / Shen, Zhingiang / Steinkühler, Jan / Tamm, Lukas K. / Tieleman, Peter / Uhríková, Daniela / Won, Amy / Xia, Yan / Ye, Huilin / Yeager, Ashley N. / Yip, Christopher M.

Series:De Gruyter STEM

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Publication Date:
July 2019
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18. Combining experiment and simulation to study complex biomimetic membranes

Nickels, Jonathan D. / Katsaras, John


The three-dimensional architecture of biological membranes has functional consequences for the living cell. In the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, lipids are thought to self-organize into domains enriched in high-melting lipids and cholesterol. Currently, there is much evidence implicating these lipid domains in a variety of membrane processes, including protein sorting, cell signaling, and the maintenance of membrane physical properties. Cells also actively maintain an asymmetric distribution of different lipid types between their plasma membrane inner and outer leaflets, resulting in monolayers with different fluidities and charge densities. Moreover, it is an open question how these and other bilayer properties are coupled, if at all. A variety of biophysical techniques are being employed to interrogate both lateral and transverse bilayer structures with sub-nanometer resolution. Molecular dynamic simulations are also used to probe the membrane’s finer details, providing a glimpse of membrane organization with atomic resolution. In this chapter, we present a discussion of these two approaches to investigate the organization of complex biomimetic membranes and present recent examples of how they have been used to complement each other.

Citation Information

Jonathan D. Nickels, John Katsaras (2019). 18. Combining experiment and simulation to study complex biomimetic membranes. In Mu-Ping Nieh, Frederick A. Heberle, John Katsaras (Eds.), Characterization of Biological Membranes: Structure and Dynamics (pp. 515–550). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110544657-018

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110544657

Online ISBN: 9783110544657

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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