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Lateral dynamics of charged lipids and peripheral proteins in spatially heterogeneous membranes: Comparison of continuous and Monte Carlo approaches

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Original languageEnglish
Article number155103
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume135
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2011

Abstract

Biological membranes are complex environments whose physico-chemical properties are of utmost importance for the understanding of many crucial biological processes. Much attention has been given in the literature to the description of membranes along the z-axis perpendicular to the membrane. Here, we instead consider the lateral dynamics of lipids and peripheral proteins due to their electrostatic interaction. Previously, we constructed a Monte Carlo automaton capable of simulating mutual diffusive dynamics of charged lipids and associated positively charged peptides. Here, we derive and numerically analyze a system of Poisson-Boltzmann-Nernst-Planck (PBNP) equations that provide a mean-field approximation compatible with our Monte Carlo model. The thorough comparison between the mean-field PBNP equations and Monte Carlo simulations demonstrates that both the approaches are in a good qualitative agreement in all tested scenarios. We find that the two methods quantitatively deviate when the local charge density is high, presumably because the Poisson-Boltzmann formalism is applicable in the so-called weak coupling limit, whose validity is restricted to low charge densities. Nevertheless, we conclude that the mean-field PBNP approach provides a good approximation for the considerably more detailed Monte Carlo model at only a fraction of the associated computational cost and allows simulation of the membrane lateral dynamics on the space and time scales relevant for the realistic biological problems. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3652958]

    Research areas

  • FLUORESCENCE CORRELATION SPECTROSCOPY, C-KINASE SUBSTRATE, NERNST-PLANCK EQUATIONS, ACIDIC LIPIDS, PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL 4,5-BISPHOSPHATE, ELECTROSTATIC INTERACTIONS, SIGNAL-TRANSDUCTION, BASIC PEPTIDES, DOMAIN FORMATION, PLASMA-MEMBRANE

ID: 1451468