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Journal Article

Membrane shape remodeling by protein crowding


Liese,  Susanne
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Liese, S., & Carlson, A. (2021). Membrane shape remodeling by protein crowding. Biophysical Journal, 120(12), 2482-2489. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2021.04.029.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-C374-8
The steric repulsion between proteins on biological membranes is one of the most generic mechanisms that cause membrane shape changes. We present a minimal model in which a spontaneous curvature is induced by asymmetric protein crowding. Our results show that the interplay between the induced spontaneous curvature and the membrane tension determines the energy-minimizing shapes, which describes the wide range of experimentally observed membrane shapes, i.e., flat membranes, spherical vesicles, elongated tubular protrusions, and pearling structures. Moreover, the model gives precise predictions on how membrane shape changes by protein crowding can be tuned by controlling the protein size, the density of proteins, and the size of the crowded domain.