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Lipid-Modulated Sequence-Specific Association of Glycophorin A in Membranes

By Lorant Janosi, Anupam Prakash and Manolis Doxastakis


Protein association in lipid membranes is a complex process with thermodynamics directed by a multitude of different factors. Amino-acid sequence is a molecular parameter that affects dimerization as shown by limited directed mutations along the transmembrane domains. Membrane-mediated interactions are also important although details of such contributions remain largely unclear. In this study, we probe directly the free energy of association of Glycophorin A by means of extensive parallel Monte Carlo simulations with recently developed methods and a model that accounts for sequence-specificity while representing lipid membranes faithfully. We find that lipid-induced interactions are significant both at short and intermediate separations. The ability of molecules to tilt in a specific hydrophobic environment extends their accessible interfaces, leading to intermittent contacts during protein recognition. The dimer with the lowest free energy is largely determined by the favorable lipid-induced attractive interactions at the closest distance. Finally, the coarse-grained model employed herein, together with the extensive sampling performed, provides estimates of the free energy of association that are in excellent agreement with existing data

Topics: Protein
Publisher: The Biophysical Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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