Luís M. S. Loura

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Membrane proteins exhibit different affinities for different lipid species, and protein-lipid selectivity regulates the membrane composition in close proximity to the protein, playing an important role in the formation of nanoscale membrane heterogeneities. The sensitivity of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) for distances of 10 A up to 100 A is(More)
Due to their sensitivity and versatility, the use of fluorescence techniques in membrane biophysics is widespread. Because membrane lipids are non-fluorescent, extrinsic membrane probes are widely used. However, the behaviour of these probes when inserted in the bilayer is often poorly understood, and it can be hard to distinguish between legitimate(More)
Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful tool used for many problems in membrane biophysics, including characterization of the lateral distribution of lipid components and other species of interest. However, quantitative analysis of FRET data with a topological model requires adequate choices for the values of several input parameters, some of(More)
Recently, several indications have been found that suggest a preferential interaction between cholesterol and tryptophan residues located near the membrane-water interface. The aim of this study was to investigate by direct methods how tryptophan and cholesterol interact with each other and what the possible consequences are for membrane organization. For(More)
Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), in most applications used as a "spectroscopic ruler," allows an easy determination of the donor-acceptor intermolecular distance. However, the situation becomes complex in membranes, since around each donor there is an ensemble of acceptors at non-correlated distances. In this review, state-of-the-art methodologies(More)
T-1249 is a peptide that inhibits the fusion of HIV envelope with the target cell membrane. Recent results indicate that T-1249, as in the case of related inhibitor peptide T-20 (enfuvirtide), interacts with membranes, more extensively in the bilayer liquid disordered phase than in the liquid ordered state, which could be linked to its effectiveness.(More)
Phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P(2)] plays a key role in the modulation of actin polymerization and vesicle trafficking. These processes seem to depend on the enrichment of PI(4,5)P(2) in plasma membrane domains. Here, we show that PI(4,5)P(2) does not form domains when in a fluid phosphatidylcholine matrix in the pH range of 4.8-8.4. This(More)
A 28-mer gammaM4 peptide, obtained by solid-state synthesis and corresponding to the fourth transmembrane segment of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gamma-subunit, possesses a single tryptophan residue (Trp453), making it an excellent model for studying peptide-lipid interactions in membranes by fluorescence spectroscopy. The gammaM4 peptide was(More)
Acidic lipids are known to both catalyze amyloid fiber formation by amyloidogenic peptides/proteins and induce formation of 'amyloid-like' fibrils by non-amyloidogenic proteins. In this work, we describe the application of state-of-the-art time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer methodologies to the characterization of the supramolecular structure(More)
Because of its acute sensitivity to distance in the nanometer scale, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) has found a large variety of applications in many fields of chemistry, physics, and biology. One important issue regarding the correct usage of FRET is its dependence on the donor-acceptor relative orientation, expressed as the orientation factor(More)