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Non-Brownian diffusion in lipid membranes: Experiments and simulations

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173–185
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta: Biomembranes
Volume215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Abstract

The dynamics of constituents and the surface response of cellular membranes-also in connection to the binding of various particles and macromolecules to the membrane-are still a matter of controversy in the membrane biophysics community, particularly with respect to crowded membranes of living biological cells. We here put into perspective recent single particle tracking experiments in the plasma membranes of living cells and supercomputing studies of lipid bilayer model membranes with and without protein crowding. Special emphasis is put on the observation of anomalous, non-Brownian diffusion of both lipid molecules and proteins embedded in the lipid bilayer. While single component, pure lipid bilayers in simulations exhibit only transient anomalous diffusion of lipid molecules on nanosecond time scales, the persistence of anomalous diffusion becomes significantly longer ranged on the addition of disorder-through the addition of cholesterol or proteins-and on passing of the membrane lipids to the gel phase. Concurrently, experiments demonstrate the anomalous diffusion of membrane embedded proteins up to macroscopic time scales in the minute time range. Particular emphasis will be put on the physical character of the anomalous diffusion, in particular, the occurrence of ageing observed in the experiments-the effective diffusivity of the measured particles is a decreasing function of time. Moreover, we present results for the time dependent local scaling exponent of the mean squared displacement of the monitored particles. Recent results finding deviations from the commonly assumed Gaussian diffusion patterns in protein crowded membranes are reported. The properties of the displacement autocorrelation function of the lipid molecules are discussed in the light of their appropriate physical anomalous diffusion models, both for non-crowded and crowded membranes. In the last part of this review we address the upcoming field of membrane distortion by elongated membrane-binding particles. We discuss how membrane compartmentalisation and the particle-membrane binding energy may impact the dynamics and response of lipid membranes. For SI: Biosimulations - This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biosimulations.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Keywords

  • Anomalous diffusion, Lipid bilayer, Non-Gaussian processes, Protein crowding, Simulations, Stochastic modelling

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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