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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Jul;1858(7 Pt B):1619-34. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2016.02.003. Epub 2016 Feb 4.

Continuum descriptions of membranes and their interaction with proteins: Towards chemically accurate models.

Author information

1
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, United States.
2
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, United States. Electronic address: michael.grabe@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Biological membranes deform in response to resident proteins leading to a coupling between membrane shape and protein localization. Additionally, the membrane influences the function of membrane proteins. Here we review contributions to this field from continuum elastic membrane models focusing on the class of models that couple the protein to the membrane. While it has been argued that continuum models cannot reproduce the distortions observed in fully-atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we suggest that this failure can be overcome by using chemically accurate representations of the protein. We outline our recent advances along these lines with our hybrid continuum-atomistic model, and we show the model is in excellent agreement with fully-atomistic simulations of the nhTMEM16 lipid scramblase. We believe that the speed and accuracy of continuum-atomistic methodologies will make it possible to simulate large scale, slow biological processes, such as membrane morphological changes, that are currently beyond the scope of other computational approaches. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Proteins edited by J.C. Gumbart and Sergei Noskov.

KEYWORDS:

Bilayer; Biological membrane; Electrostatics; Hydrophobic mismatch; Transmembrane protein

PMID:
26853937
PMCID:
PMC4877259
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbamem.2016.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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