Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1306.2363 (Sheeba J. Irudayam et al.)

Free energy barrier for melittin reorientation from a membrane-bound
state to a transmembrane state

Sheeba J. Irudayam, Tobias Pobandt, Max L. Berkowitz
An important step in a phospholipid membrane pore formation by melittin antimicrobial peptide is a reorientation of the peptide from a surface into a transmembrane conformation. In this work we perform umbrella sampling simulations to calculate the potential of mean force (PMF) for the reorientation of melittin from a surface-bound state to a transmembrane state and provide a molecular level insight into understanding peptide and lipid properties that influence the existence of the free energy barrier. The PMFs were calculated for a peptide to lipid (P/L) ratio of 1/128 and 4/128. We observe that the free energy barrier is reduced when the P/L ratio increased. In addition, we study the cooperative effect; specifically we investigate if the barrier is smaller for a second melittin reorientation, given that another neighboring melittin was already in the transmembrane state. We observe that indeed the barrier of the PMF curve is reduced in this case, thus confirming the presence of a cooperative effect.
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