Membrane biophysics

Membrane biophysics is the study of the physical principles governing biological membranes, including lipid-raft formation and protein–lipid coupling, as well as their mechanical characteristics, and the effect they have on paracellular transport and phenomena relating to cell shape.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    The venom of Latrodectus spiders contains seven Latrotoxins (LaTXs), among them α-latrocrustatoxin (LCT) and δ- latroinsectotoxins δ-LIT. LaTXs bind to specific receptors on the surface of neuronal cells and target the molecular exocytosis machinery. Here, the authors present the cryo-EM structure of the α-LCT monomer and the δ-LIT dimer, which reveal that LaTXs are organized in four domains and they discuss the potential oligomerisation mechanism that takes place before LaTXs membrane insertion. Both recombinant α-LCT and δ-LIT form channels in artificial membrane bilayers, that are stabilized by Ca2+ ions.

    • Minghao Chen
    • , Daniel Blum
    •  & Christos Gatsogiannis
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Fusion of cellular membranes begins with the formation of a stalk. Here, the authors develop a computationally efficient method for coarse-grained simulations of stalk formation and apply this approach to comprehensively analyse how stalk formation is influenced by the membrane lipid composition.

    • Chetan S. Poojari
    • , Katharina C. Scherer
    •  & Jochen S. Hub
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Amphiphysin BAR proteins reshape membranes, but the dynamics of the process remained unexplored. Here, the authors show through experiment and modelling that reshaping depends on the initial template shape, occurs even at low initial curvature, and involves the coexistence of isotropic and nematic states.

    • Anabel-Lise Le Roux
    • , Caterina Tozzi
    •  & Pere Roca-Cusachs
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Lysine acetylation regulates the function of soluble proteins in vivo, yet it remains largely unexplored whether lysine acetylation regulates the function of membrane proteins. Here, the authors map lysine acetylation predominantly in membrane-interaction regions in peripheral membrane proteins and show with three candidate proteins how lysine acetylation is a regulator of membrane protein function.

    • Alan K. Okada
    • , Kazuki Teranishi
    •  & Ralf Langen

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