Scaling and alpha-helix regulation of protein relaxation in a lipid bilayer.

Liming Qiu, Creighton Buie, Kwan Cheng, Mark Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein conformation and orientation in the lipid membrane plays a key role in many cellular processes. Here we use molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the relaxation and C-terminus diffusion of a model helical peptide: beta-amyloid (Aβ) in a lipid membrane. We observed that after the helical peptide was initially half-embedded in the extracelluar leaflet of phosphatidylcholine (PC) or PC/cholesterol (PC/CHOL) membrane, the C-terminus diffused across the membrane and anchored to PC headgroups of the cytofacial lipid leaflet. In some cases, the membrane insertion domain of the Aβ was observed to partially unfold. Applying a sigmoidal fit to the process, we found that the characteristic velocity of the C-terminus, as it moved to its anchor site, scaled with θu (-4/3), where θu is the fraction of the original helix that was lost during a helix to coil transition. Comparing this scaling with that of bead-spring models of polymer relaxation suggests that the C-terminus velocity is
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225101
StatePublished - Dec 14 2014


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