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Collective Dynamics in Lipid Membranes: From Pore Formation to Flip-Flops

  • Andrey A. Gurtovenko
  • Ilpo Vattulainen
Chapter
Part of the Handbook of Modern Biophysics book series (HBBT)

Abstract

Biological membranes are excellent examples of biologically relevant soft interfaces. They mediate or even govern a large variety of cellular functions [1–3]. Membranes serve as a host for membrane proteins to carry out their functions, and numerous signaling processes are either conducted inside membranes or mediated by them. Additionally, cellular membranes act as a permeability barrier, allowing only desired particles to permeate through the membrane into and out of the cell, besides which membranes are also involved in a variety of large-scale functions such as in maintaining the osmotic pressure and ion density gradients across the plasma membrane. The biological relevance of membranes is emphasized by the rather recently proposed lipid raft model [4–7], which essentially stresses the importance of understanding the interplay between lipids and proteins: membrane proteins function together with lipids. Consequently, lipid membrane structures, lipid domain coexistence, and especially the role of cholesterol in the structural properties of membranes have been paid a considerable amount of attention recently. Meanwhile, the dynamics of membranes [3,8,9] has received much less attention despite its substantial importance in, e.g., signaling, domain formation, and diffusion of lipids and proteins in the plane of the membrane.

Keywords

Water Pore Lipid Membrane Lipid Bilayer Pore Formation Collective Dynamic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Humana Press 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrey A. Gurtovenko
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ilpo Vattulainen
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Computational Biophysics Laboratory, Institute of Pharmaceutical Innovation, University of BradfordWest YorkshireUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Department of Physics, Tampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland
  4. 4.Helsinki University of TechnologyHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.MEMPHYS — Center for Biomembrane Physics, University of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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