Inclusion-induced Bilayer Deformations: Effects of Monolayer Equilibrium Curvature

Claus Hélix-Nielsen, Olaf S Andersen

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The energetics of protein-induced bilayer deformation in systems with finite monolayer equilibrium curvature were investigated using an elastic membrane model. In this model the bilayer deformation energy DeltaG(def) has two major components: a compression-expansion component and a splay-distortion component, which includes the consequences of a bilayer curvature frustration due to a monolayer equilibrium curvature, c(0), that is different from zero. For any choice of bilayer material constants, the value of DeltaG(def) depends on global bilayer properties, as described by the bilayer material constants, as well as the energetics of local lipid packing adjacent to the protein. We introduce this dependence on lipid packing through the contact slope, s, at the protein-bilayer boundary. When c(0) = 0, DeltaG(def) can be approximated as a biquadratic function of s and the monolayer deformation at the protein/bilayer boundary, u(0): DeltaG(def) = a(1)u(0)(2) + a(2)u(0)s + a(3)s(2), where a(1), a(2), and a(3) are functions of the bilayer thickness, the bilayer compression-expansion and splay-distortion moduli, and the inclusion radius (this expression becomes exact when the Gaussian curvature component of DeltaG(def) is negligible). When c(0) not equal 0, the curvature frustration contribution is determined by the choice of boundary conditions at the protein-lipid boundary (by the value of s), and DeltaG(def) is the sum of the energy for c(0) = 0 plus the curvature frustration-dependent contribution. When the energetic penalty for the local lipid packing can be ignored, DeltaG(def) Will be determined only by the global bilayer properties, and a c(0) > 0 will tend to promote a local inclusion-induced bilayer thinning. When the energetic penalty for local lipid packing is large, s will be constrained by the value of c(0). In a limiting case, where s is determined only by geometric constraints imposed by c(0), a c(0) > 0 will impede such local bilayer thinning. One cannot predict curvature effects without addressing the proper choice of boundary conditions at the protein-bilayer contact surface.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)2583-2604
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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