Avinoam Ben-Shaul

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We calculate the forces required to package (or, equivalently, acting to eject) DNA into (from) a bacteriophage capsid, as a function of the loaded (ejected) length, under conditions for which the DNA is either self-repelling or self-attracting. Through computer simulation and analytical theory, we find the loading force to increase more than 10-fold (to(More)
Adherens junctions, which play a central role in intercellular adhesion, comprise clusters of type I classical cadherins that bind via extracellular domains extended from opposing cell surfaces. We show that a molecular layer seen in crystal structures of E- and N-cadherin ectodomains reported here and in a previous C-cadherin structure corresponds to the(More)
A detailed treatment is provided of the various free-energy terms that contribute to the transfer of a polyalanine alpha-helix from the aqueous phase into lipid bilayers. In agreement with previous work, the hydrophobic effect is found to provide the major driving force for helix insertion. However, an opposing effect of comparable magnitude is also(More)
The interaction free energy between a hydrophobic, transmembrane, protein and the surrounding lipid environment is calculated based on a microscopic model for lipid organization. The protein is treated as a rigid hydrophobic solute of thickness dP, embedded in a lipid bilayer of unperturbed thickness doL. The lipid chains in the immediate vicinity of the(More)
In a previous communication (Kindt et al., 2001) we reported preliminary results of Brownian dynamics simulation and analytical theory which address the packaging and ejection forces involving DNA in bacteriophage capsids. In the present work we provide a systematic formulation of the underlying theory, featuring the energetic and structural aspects of the(More)
Many cell-cell adhesive events are mediated by the dimerization of cadherin proteins presented on apposing cell surfaces. Cadherin-mediated processes play a central role in the sorting of cells into separate tissues in vivo, but in vitro assays aimed at mimicking this behavior have yielded inconclusive results. In some cases, cells that express different(More)
We develop a statistical thermodynamic model for the phase evolution of DNA-cationic lipid complexes in aqueous solution, as a function of the ratios of charged to neutral lipid and charged lipid to DNA. The complexes consist of parallel strands of DNA intercalated in the water layers of lamellar stacks of mixed lipid bilayers, as determined by recent(More)
We present a theory of the dependence on sequence of the three-dimensional size of large single-stranded (ss) RNA molecules. The work is motivated by the fact that the genomes of many viruses are large ssRNA molecules-often several thousand nucleotides long-and that these RNAs are spontaneously packaged into small rigid protein shells. We argue that there(More)
The adsorption free energy of charged proteins on mixed membranes, containing varying amounts of (oppositely) charged lipids, is calculated based on a mean-field free energy expression that accounts explicitly for the ability of the lipids to demix locally, and for lateral interactions between the adsorbed proteins. Minimization of this free energy(More)
Cationic lipid-DNA complexes, often referred to as lipoplexes, are formed spontaneously in aqueous solutions upon mixing DNA and liposomes composed of cationic and nonionic lipids. Understanding the mechanisms underlying lipoplex formation, structure and phase behavior is crucial for their further development and design as non-viral transfection vectors in(More)