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J Gen Physiol. 2008 Jan;131(1):77-85. doi: 10.1085/jgp.200709849.

Theory of passive permeability through lipid bilayers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. nagle@cmu.edu

Abstract

Recently measured water permeability through bilayers of different lipids is most strongly correlated with the area per lipid A rather than with other structural quantities such as the thickness. This paper presents a simple three-layer theory that incorporates the area dependence in a physically realistic way and also includes the thickness as a secondary modulating parameter. The theory also includes the well-known strong correlation of permeability upon the partition coefficients of general solutes in hydrocarbon environments (Overton's rule). Two mathematical treatments of the theory are given; one model uses discrete chemical kinetics and one model uses the Nernst-Planck continuum equation. The theory is fit to the recent experiments on water permeability in the accompanying paper.

PMID:
18166627
PMCID:
PMC2174158
DOI:
10.1085/jgp.200709849
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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