α-synuclein reduces tension and increases undulations in simulations of small unilamellar vesicles

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Abstract

Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations we have explored the effect of α-Synuclein (αSyn) on the structural and mechanical properties of small unilamellar vesicles in the fluid-phase. The study is motivated by observations that a high density of membrane-bound αSyn inhibits the fusion of synthetic small unilamellar vesicles. By combining three-dimensional pressure tensor calculations with our recently developed spherical harmonics fluctuation analysis approach, we show a reduction in membrane surface tension and increased membrane undulations when αSyn is bound to the vesicle's outer leaflet at a 200:1 L/P. The protein effects these changes by decreasing the negative pressure in the headgroup region of the outer leaflet and increasing the positive pressure throughout the hydrocarbon core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1848-1851
Number of pages4
JournalBiophysical journal
Volume108
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant No. RO1 NS084998 (to J.N.S.) and National Research Service Award Fellowship No. F31 NS077634 (to A.R.B.).

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