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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Nov 3;1666(1-2):205-26.

Lipids do influence protein function-the hydrophobic matching hypothesis revisited.

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MEMPHYS-Center for Biomembrane Physics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.


A topical review of the current state of lipid-protein interactions is given with focus on the physical interactions between lipids and integral proteins in lipid-bilayer membranes. The concepts of hydrophobic matching and curvature stress are revisited in light of recent data obtained from experimental and theoretical studies which demonstrate that not only do integral proteins perturb the lipids, but the physical state of the lipids does also actively influence protein function. The case of the trans-membrane water-channel protein aquaporin GlpF from E. coli imbedded in lipid-bilayer membranes is discussed in some detail. Numerical data obtained from Molecular Dynamics simulations show on the one side that the lipid bilayer adapts to the channel by a hydrophobic matching condition which reflects the propensity of the lipid molecules for forming curved structures. On the other side, it is demonstrated that the transport function of the channel is modulated by the matching condition and/or the curvature stress in a lipid-specific manner.

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