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Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Membrane Trehalose Interactions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
Number of Authors: 3
2016 (English)In: Journal of Physical Chemistry B, ISSN 1520-6106, E-ISSN 1520-5207, Vol. 120, no 36, 9621-9631 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is well established that trehalose (TRH) affects the physical properties of lipid bilayers and stabilizes biological membranes. We present molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations to investigate the interactions between lipid membranes formed by 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) and TRH. Both atomistic and coarse-grained (CG) interaction models were employed, and the coarse graining of DMPC leads to a reduction in the acyl chain length corresponding to a 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine lipid (DLPC). Several modifications of the Martini interaction model, used for CG simulations, were implemented, resulting in different potentials of mean force (PMFs) for DMPC bilayer TRH interactions. These PMFs were subsequently used in a simple two-site analytical model for the description of sugar binding at the membrane interface. In contrast to that in atomistic MD simulations, the binding in the CG model was not in agreement with the two-site model. Our interpretation is that the interaction balance, involving water, TRH, and lipids, in the CG systems needs further tuning of the force-field parameters. The area per lipid is only weakly affected by TRH concentration, whereas the compressibility modulus related to the fluctuations of the membrane increases with an increase in TRH content. In agreement with experimental findings, the bending modulus is not affected by the inclusion of TRH. The important aspects of lipid bilayer interactions with biomolecules are membrane curvature generation and sensing. In the present investigation, membrane curvature is generated by artificial buckling of the bilayer in one dimension. It turns out that TRH prefers the regions with the highest curvature, which enables the most favorable situation for lipid sugar interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 120, no 36, 9621-9631 p.
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135184DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b06566ISI: 000383641300008PubMedID: 27530142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135184DiVA: diva2:1047314
Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-11-01 Last updated: 2016-11-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Computer Simulations of Membrane–Sugar Interactions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Computer Simulations of Membrane–Sugar Interactions
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Carbohydrate molecules are essential parts of living cells. They are used as energy storage and signal substances, and they can be found incorporated in the cell membranes as attachments to glycoproteins and glycolipids, but also as free molecules. In this thesis the effect of carbohydrate molecules on phospholipid model membranes have been investigated by the means of Molecular Dynamics (MD) computer simulations.

The most abundant glycolipid in nature is the non-bilayer forming monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG). It is known to be important for the membrane stacking typical for the thylakoid membranes in plants, and has also been found essential for processes related to photosynthesis. In Paper I, MD simulations were used to characterize structural and dynamical changes in a lipid bilayer when MGDG is present. The simulations were validated by direct comparisons between dipolar couplings calculated from the MD trajectories, and those determined from NMR experiments on similar systems. We could show that most structural changes of the bilayer were a consequence of lipid packing and the molecular shape of MGDG.

In certain plants and organisms, the enrichment of small sugars such as sucrose and trehalose close to the membrane interfaces, are known to be one of the strategies to survive freezing and dehydration. The cryoprotecting abilities of these sugar molecules are long known, but the mechanisms at the molecular level are still debated. In Papers II–IV, the interactions of trehalose with a lipid bilayer were investigated. Calculations of structural and dynamical properties, together with free energy calculations, were used to characterize the effect of trehalose on bilayer properties. We could show that the binding of trehalose to the lipid bilayer follows a simple two state binding model, in agreement with recent experimental investigations, and confirm some of the proposed hypotheses for membrane–sugar interactions. The simulations were validated by dipolar couplings from our NMR investigations of TRH in a dilute liquid crystal (bicelles). Furthermore, the assumption about molecular structure being equal in the ordered and isotropic phases was tested and verified. This assumption is central for the interpretation of experimentally determined dipolar couplings in weakly ordered systems.

In addition, a coarse grain model was used to tackle some of the problems with slow dynamics that were encountered for trehalose in interaction with the bilayer. It was found that further developments of the interaction models are needed to properly describe the membrane–sugar interactions. Lastly, from investigations of trehalose curvature sensing, we concluded that it preferably interacts in bilayer regions with high negative curvature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Stockholm University, 2016. 78 p.
Keyword
Molecular simulations, Molecular dynamics, Lipid bilayers, Carbohydrates, Biological membranes, Trehalose, Glycolipids, Membrane—sugar interactions
National Category
Physical Chemistry
Research subject
Physical Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127402 (URN)978-91-7649-363-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-29, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-04-06 Created: 2016-03-03 Last updated: 2016-11-17Bibliographically approved

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