Dynamics of a polyelectrolyte through aerolysin channel as a function of applied voltage and concentration

  • Manuela Pastoriza-Gallego
  • Bénédicte Thiébot
  • Laurent Bacri
  • Loïc Auvray
  • Juan Pelta
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Polymers: From Adsorption to Translocation - Topical Issue in Memoriam Loïc Auvray (1956-2016)


We describe the behaviour of a polyelectrolyte in confined geometry. The transport of a polyelectrolyte, dextran sulfate, through a recombinant protein channel, aerolysin, inserted into a planar lipid bilayer is studied as a function of applied voltage and polyelectrolyte concentration and chain length. The aerolysin pore has a weak geometry asymmetry, a high number of charged residues and the polyelectrolyte is strongly negatively charged. The resulting current blockades were characterized by short and long dwelling times. Their frequency varies exponentially as a function of applied voltage and linearly as a function of polyelectrolyte concentration. The long blockade duration decreases exponentially when the electrical force increases. The ratio of the population of short events to the one of long events decreases when the applied voltage increases and displays an exponential variation. The long residence time increases with the polyelectrolyte chain length. We measure a reduction of the effective charge of the polyelectrolyte at the pore entry and inside the channel. For a fixed applied voltage, + / - 100 mV, at both sides of the protein pore entrance, the events frequency is similar as a function of dextran sulfate concentration. The mean blockade durations are independent of polyelectrolyte concentration and are similar for both entrances of the pore and remain constant as a function of the electrical force.

Graphical abstract


Polymers: From Adsorption to Translocation - Topical Issue in Memoriam Loïc Auvray (1956-2016) 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Pastoriza-Gallego
    • 1
  • Bénédicte Thiébot
    • 1
  • Laurent Bacri
    • 2
  • Loïc Auvray
    • 3
  • Juan Pelta
    • 2
  1. 1.LAMBE UMR 8587Université Cergy-Pontoise, Université Paris-SeineCergy-PontoiseFrance
  2. 2.LAMBE UMR 8587Université Evry, CNRS, CEA, Université Paris-SaclayEvryFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes ComplexesUniversité Paris DiderotParisFrance

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