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J Biomech. 2010 May 28;43(8):1612-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.12.026. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Mechanical stability of membrane nanotubular protrusions influenced by attachment of flexible rod-like proteins.

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Laboratory of Biophysics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


It is indicated that nonhomogeneous lateral distribution of membrane attached and flexible rod-like proteins (MRPs) may stabilize nanotubular membrane protrusions. We have shown that curvature induced accumulation of MRPs in the nanotubular membrane protrusion and the corresponding reduction of the membrane free energy are possible if the decrease of the deviatoric free energy of MRPs in the nanotubular protrusions is large enough to overcome the increase of the free energy due to decrease of configurational entropy in the process of lateral sorting of MRPs. The decrease of isotropic curvature energy of MRPs in the region of membrane protrusion is usually not sufficient for substantial MRPs sorting and consequent stabilization of the nanotubular membrane protrusions.

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