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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Transmembrane Protein Shape on Surrounding Lipid Domain Formation by Wetting

1
A.N. Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 31/4 Leninskiy Prospekt, 119071 Moscow, Russia
2
Department of Theoretical Physics and Quantum Technologies, National University of Science and Technology “MISiS”, 4 Leninskiy Prospect, 119049 Moscow, Russia
3
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 9 Institutskiy Lane, Dolgoprudniy, 141700 Moscow Region, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110729
Received: 5 October 2019 / Revised: 9 November 2019 / Accepted: 11 November 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
Signal transduction through cellular membranes requires the highly specific and coordinated work of specialized proteins. Proper functioning of these proteins is provided by an interplay between them and the lipid environment. Liquid-ordered lipid domains are believed to be important players here, however, it is still unclear whether conditions for a phase separation required for lipid domain formation exist in cellular membranes. Moreover, membrane leaflets are compositionally asymmetric, that could be an obstacle for the formation of symmetric domains spanning the lipid bilayer. We theoretically show that the presence of protein in the membrane leads to the formation of a stable liquid-ordered lipid phase around it by the mechanism of protein wetting by lipids, even in the absence of conditions necessary for the global phase separation in the membrane. Moreover, we show that protein shape plays a crucial role in this process, and protein conformational rearrangement can lead to changes in the size and characteristics of surrounding lipid domains. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid-ordered domain; wetting; theory of elasticity; transmembrane protein liquid-ordered domain; wetting; theory of elasticity; transmembrane protein
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Molotkovsky, R.J.; Galimzyanov, T.R.; Batishchev, O.V.; Akimov, S.A. The Effect of Transmembrane Protein Shape on Surrounding Lipid Domain Formation by Wetting. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 729.

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