Effect of membrane tension on the electric field and dipole potential of lipid bilayer membrane.
ABSTRACT: The dipole potential of lipid bilayer membrane controls the difference in permeability of the membrane to oppositely charged ions. We have combined molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and experimental studies to determine changes in electric field and electrostatic potential of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) lipid bilayer in response to applied membrane tension. MD simulations based on CHARMM36 force field showed that electrostatic potential of DOPC bilayer decreases by ~45mV in the physiologically relevant range of membrane tension values (0 to 15dyn/cm). The electrostatic field exhibits a peak (~0.8×10(9)V/m) near the water/lipid interface which shifts by 0.9Å towards the bilayer center at 15dyn/cm. Maximum membrane tension of 15dyn/cm caused 6.4% increase in area per lipid, 4.7% decrease in bilayer thickness and 1.4% increase in the volume of the bilayer. Dipole-potential sensitive fluorescent probes were used to detect membrane tension induced changes in DOPC vesicles exposed to osmotic stress. Experiments confirmed that dipole potential of DOPC bilayer decreases at higher membrane tensions. These results are suggestive of a potentially new mechanosensing mechanism by which mechanically induced structural changes in the lipid bilayer membrane could modulate the function of membrane proteins by altering electrostatic interactions and energetics of protein conformational states.
Project description:In all of the classical force fields, electrostatic interaction is simply treated and explicit electronic polarizability is neglected. The condensed-phase polarization, relative to the gas-phase charge distributions, is commonly accounted for in an average way by increasing the atomic charges, which remain fixed throughout simulations. Based on the lipid polarizable force field DMPC and following the same framework as Atomic Multipole Optimized Energetics for BiomoleculAr (AMOEBA) simulation, the present effort expands the force field to new anionic lipid models, in which the new lipids contain DMPG and POPS. The parameters are compatible with the AMOEBA force field, which includes water, ions, proteins, etc. The charge distribution of each atom is represented by the permanent atomic monopole, dipole and quadrupole moments, which are derived from the ab initio gas phase calculations. Many-body polarization including the inter- and intramolecular polarization is modeled in a consistent manner with distributed atomic polarizabilities. Molecular dynamics simulations of the two aqueous DMPG and POPS membrane bilayer systems, consisting of 72 lipids with water molecules, were then carried out to validate the force field parameters. Membrane width, area per lipid, volume per lipid, deuterium order parameters, electron density profile, electrostatic potential difference between the center of the bilayer and water are all calculated, and compared with limited experimental data.
Project description:Amyloid fibrils are associated with multiple neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. Although biological membranes are involved in fibril plaque formation, the role of lipid membrane composition in fibril formation and toxicity is not well understood. We investigated the effect of cholesterol on the interaction of model lipid membranes with amyloid-? peptide (A?). With atomic force microscopy we demonstrated that binding of A? (1-42) to DOPC bilayer, enriched with 20% cholesterol, resulted in an intriguing formation of small nonuniform islands loaded with A?. We attribute this effect to the presence of nanoscale electrostatic domains induced by cholesterol in DOPC bilayers. Using frequency-modulated Kelvin probe force microscopy we were able to resolve these nanoscale electrostatic domains in DOPC monolayers. These findings directly affect our understanding of how the presence of cholesterol may induce targeted binding of amyloid deposits to biomembranes. We postulate that this nonhomogeneous electrostatic effect of cholesterol has a fundamental nature and may be present in other lipid membranes and monolayers.
Project description:Solid-state nanopore sensors are highly versatile platforms for the rapid, label-free electrical detection and analysis of single molecules, applicable to next generation DNA sequencing. The versatility of this technology allows for both large scale device integration and interfacing with biological systems. Here we report on the development of a hybrid biological solid-state nanopore platform that incorporates a highly mobile lipid bilayer on a single solid-state Al(2)O(3) nanopore sensor, for the potential reconstitution of ion channels and biological nanopores. Such a system seeks to combine the superior electrical, thermal, and mechanical stability of Al(2)O(3) solid-state nanopores with the chemical specificity of biological nanopores. Bilayers on Al(2)O(3) exhibit higher diffusivity than those formed on TiO(2) and SiO(2) substrates, attributed to the presence of a thick hydration layer on Al(2)O(3), a key requirement to preserving the biological functionality of reconstituted membrane proteins. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that the electrostatic repulsion between the dipole of the DOPC headgroup and the positively charged Al(2)O(3) surface may be responsible for the enhanced thickness of this hydration layer. Lipid bilayer coated Al(2)O(3) nanopore sensors exhibit excellent electrical properties and enhanced mechanical stability (G? seals for over 50 h), making this technology ideal for use in ion channel electrophysiology, the screening of ion channel active drugs and future integration with biological nanopores such as ?-hemolysin and MspA for rapid single molecule DNA sequencing. This technology can find broad application in bio-nanotechnology.
Project description:We report a novel and facile method for measuring edge tensions of lipid membranes. The approach is based on electroporation of giant unilamellar vesicles and analysis of the pore closure dynamics. We applied this method to evaluate the edge tension in membranes with four different compositions: egg phosphatidylcholine (eggPC), dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC), and mixtures of DOPC with cholesterol and dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine. Our data confirm previous results for eggPC and DOPC. The addition of 17 mol % cholesterol to the DOPC membrane causes an increase in the membrane edge tension. On the contrary, when the same fraction of dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine is added to the membrane, a decrease in the edge tension is observed, which is an unexpected result considering the inverted-cone shape geometry of the molecule. It is presumed that interlipid hydrogen bonding is the origin of this behavior. Furthermore, cholesterol was found to lower the lysis tension of DOPC bilayers. This behavior differs from that observed on bilayers made of stearoyloleoylphosphatidylcholine, suggesting that cholesterol influences the membrane mechanical stability in a lipid-specific manner.
Project description:Given the complexity of cell membranes, there is a need for an analytical technique which can explore the physical properties of lipid membranes in a high-throughput and noninvasive manner. A simplified sum-frequency vibrational imaging (SFVI) setup has been developed and characterized using asymmetrically prepared 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC):1,2-distearoyl(d70)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC-d(70)) lipid bilayer arrays. Exploiting the vibrational selectivity and inherent symmetry constraints of sum-frequency generation, SFVI was successfully used to probe the transition temperature of a patterned DSPC:DSPC-d(70) lipid bilayer array. SFVI was also used to study the phase behavior in a multicomponent micropatterned lipid bilayer array (MLBA) prepared using three different binary lipid mixtures (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC):DSPC, DOPC:1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), and 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC:DSPC). This paper demonstrates that a simplified SFVI setup provides the necessary chemical imaging capabilities with the spatial resolution, sensitivity, and field of view required for exploring lipid membrane properties in a high-throughput array based assay.
Project description:We report the effect on lipid bilayers of the Tat peptide Y47GRKKRRQRRR57 from the HIV-1 virus transactivator of translation (Tat) protein. Synergistic use of low-angle X-ray scattering (LAXS) and atomistic molecular dynamic simulations (MD) indicate Tat peptide binding to neutral dioleoylphosphocholine (DOPC) lipid headgroups. This binding induced the local lipid phosphate groups to move 3Å closer to the center of the bilayer. Many of the positively charged guanidinium components of the arginines were as close to the center of the bilayer as the locally thinned lipid phosphate groups. LAXS data for DOPC, DOPC/dioleoylphosphoethanolamine (DOPE), DOPC/dioleoylphosphoserine (DOPS), and a mimic of the nuclear membrane gave similar results. Generally, the Tat peptide decreased the bilayer bending modulus KC and increased the area/lipid. Further indications that Tat softens a membrane, thereby facilitating translocation, were provided by wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and neutron scattering. CD spectroscopy was also applied to further characterize Tat/membrane interactions. Although a mechanism for translation remains obscure, this study suggests that the peptide/lipid interaction makes the Tat peptide poised to translocate from the headgroup region.
Project description:The dipole potential of a lipid bilayer membrane accounts for its much larger permeability to anions than cations and affects the conformation and function of membrane proteins. The absolute value of the dipole potential has been very difficult to measure, although its value has been estimated to range from 200 to 1,000 mV from ion translocation rates, the surface potential of lipid monolayers, and molecular dynamics calculations. Here, a point charge probe method was used to investigate the dipole potentials of both ester and ether lipid membranes. The interactions between electrons and lipid molecules were recorded by phase-contrast imaging using cryo-EM. The magnitude and the profile of the dipole potential along the bilayer normal were obtained by subtracting the contribution of the atomic potential from the cryo-EM image intensity. The peak dipole potential was estimated to be 510 and 260 mV for diphytanoylphosphatidylcholine and diphytanylphosphatidylcholine, respectively.
Project description:Biological membranes are heterogeneous structures with complex electrostatic profiles arising from lipids, sterols, membrane proteins, and water molecules. We investigated the effect of cholesterol and its derivative 6-ketocholestanol (6-kc) on membrane electrostatics by directly measuring the dipole electric field (F?d) within lipid bilayers containing cholesterol or 6-kc at concentrations of 0-40 mol% through the vibrational Stark effect (VSE). We found that adding low concentrations of cholesterol, up to ?10 mol %, increases F?d, while adding more cholesterol up to 40 mol% lowers F?d. In contrast, we measured a monotonic increase in F?d as 6-kc concentration increased. We propose that this membrane electric field is affected by multiple factors: the polarity of the sterol molecules, the reorientation of the phospholipid dipole due to sterol, and the impact of the sterol on hydrogen bonding with surface water. We used molecular dynamics simulations to examine the distribution of phospholipids, sterol, and helix in bilayers containing these sterols. At low concentrations, we observed clustering of sterols near the vibrational probe whereas at high concentrations, we observed spatial correlation between the positions of the sterol molecules. This work demonstrates how a one-atom difference in a sterol changes the physicochemical and electric field properties of the bilayer.
Project description:Dipole potential is the potential difference within the membrane bilayer, which originates due to the nonrandom arrangement of lipid dipoles and water molecules at the membrane interface. Cholesterol, a representative sterol in higher eukaryotic membranes, is known to increase membrane dipole potential. In this work, we explored the effects of immediate (7-DHC and desmosterol) and evolutionary (ergosterol) precursors of cholesterol on membrane dipole potential, monitored by the dual wavelength ratiometric approach utilizing the probe di-8-ANEPPS. Our results show that the effect of these precursors on membrane dipole potential is very different from that observed with cholesterol, although the structural differences among them are subtle. These results assume relevance, since accumulation of cholesterol precursors due to defective cholesterol biosynthesis has been reported to result in several inherited metabolic disorders such as the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome. Interestingly, cholesterol (and its precursors) has a negligible effect on dipole potential in polyunsaturated membranes. We interpret these results in terms of noncanonical orientation of cholesterol in these membranes. Our results constitute the first report on the effect of biosynthetic and evolutionary precursors of cholesterol on dipole potential, and imply that a subtle change in sterol structure can significantly alter the dipolar field at the membrane interface.
Project description:Cell lipid membranes are the site of vital biological processes, such as motility, trafficking, and sensing, many of which involve mechanical forces. Elucidating the interplay between such bioprocesses and mechanical forces requires the use of tools that apply and measure piconewton-level forces, e.g., optical tweezers. Here, we introduce the combination of optical tweezers with free-standing lipid bilayers, which are fully accessible on both sides of the membrane. In the vicinity of the lipid bilayer, optical trapping would normally be impossible due to optical distortions caused by pockets of the solvent trapped within the membrane. We solve this by drastically reducing the size of these pockets via tuning of the solvent and flow cell material. In the resulting flow cells, lipid nanotubes are straightforwardly pushed or pulled and reach lengths above half a millimeter. Moreover, the controlled pushing of a lipid nanotube with an optically trapped bead provides an accurate and direct measurement of important mechanical properties. In particular, we measure the membrane tension of a free-standing membrane composed of a mixture of dioleoylphosphatidylcholine (DOPC) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) to be 4.6 × 10-6 N/m. We demonstrate the potential of the platform for biophysical studies by inserting the cell-penetrating trans-activator of transcription (TAT) peptide in the lipid membrane. The interactions between the TAT peptide and the membrane are found to decrease the value of the membrane tension to 2.1 × 10-6 N/m. This method is also fully compatible with electrophysiological measurements and presents new possibilities for the study of membrane mechanics and the creation of artificial lipid tube networks of great importance in intra- and intercellular communication.