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Polymers 2016, 8(6), 235;

Spatial Rearrangement and Mobility Heterogeneity of an Anionic Lipid Monolayer Induced by the Anchoring of Cationic Semiflexible Polymer Chains

State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, China
School of Business, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
Department of Food Science, Rutgers University, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
James Franck Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Kröger
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Semiflexible Polymers)
PDF [5574 KB, uploaded 17 June 2016]


We use Monte Carlo simulations to investigate the interactions between cationic semiflexible polymer chains and a model fluid lipid monolayer composed of charge-neutral phosphatidyl-choline (PC), tetravalent anionic phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), and univalent anionic phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids. In particular, we explore how chain rigidity and polymer concentration influence the spatial rearrangement and mobility heterogeneity of the monolayer under the conditions where the cationic polymers anchor on the monolayer. We find that the anchored cationic polymers only sequester the tetravalent PIP2 lipids at low polymer concentrations, where the interaction strength between the polymers and the monolayer exhibits a non-monotonic dependence on the degree of chain rigidity. Specifically, maximal anchoring occurs at low polymer concentrations, when the polymer chains have an intermediate degree of rigidity, for which the PIP2 clustering becomes most enhanced and the mobility of the polymer/PIP2 complexes becomes most reduced. On the other hand, at sufficiently high polymer concentrations, the anchoring strength decreases monotonically as the chains stiffen—a result that arises from the pronounced competitions among polymer chains. In this case, the flexible polymers can confine all PIP2 lipids and further sequester the univalent PS lipids, whereas the stiffer polymers tend to partially dissociate from the monolayer and only sequester smaller PIP2 clusters with greater mobilities. We further illustrate that the mobility gradient of the single PIP2 lipids in the sequestered clusters is sensitively modulated by the cooperative effects between anchored segments of the polymers with different rigidities. Our work thus demonstrates that the rigidity and concentration of anchored polymers are both important parameters for tuning the regulation of anionic lipids. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiflexible polymers; anchoring; sequestration; mobility; anionic lipid; Monte Carlo semiflexible polymers; anchoring; sequestration; mobility; anionic lipid; Monte Carlo

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Duan, X.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, R.; Ding, M.; Shi, T.; An, L.; Huang, Q.; Xu, W.-S. Spatial Rearrangement and Mobility Heterogeneity of an Anionic Lipid Monolayer Induced by the Anchoring of Cationic Semiflexible Polymer Chains. Polymers 2016, 8, 235.

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