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We present an improved and extended version of our coarse grained lipid model. The new version, coined the MARTINI force field, is parametrized in a systematic way, based on the reproduction of partitioning free energies between polar and apolar phases of a large number of chemical compounds. To reproduce the free energies of these chemical building blocks,(More)
The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) has become a model system in which to understand mechanosensation, a process involved in osmoregulation and many other physiological functions. While a high resolution closed state structure is available, details of the open structure and the gating mechanism remain unknown. In this study we combine(More)
Coarse-grained (CG) simulations have become an essential tool to study a large variety of biomolecular processes, exploring temporal and spatial scales inaccessible to traditional models of atomistic resolution. One of the major simplifications of CG models is the representation of the solvent, which is either implicit or modeled explicitly as a van der(More)
Lipid adhesion forces can be measured using several experimental techniques, but none of these techniques provide insight on the atomic level. Therefore, we performed extensive nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of a phospholipid membrane in the liquid-crystalline phase out of which individual lipid molecules were pulled. In our method, as an(More)
Membranes of intracellular organelles are characterized by large curvatures with radii of the order of 10-30nm. While, generally, membrane curvature can be a consequence of any asymmetry between the membrane monolayers, generation of large curvatures requires the action of mechanisms based on specialized proteins. Here we discuss the three most relevant(More)
Our molecular simulations reveal that wild-type influenza fusion peptides are able to stabilize a highly fusogenic pre-fusion structure, i.e. a peptide bundle formed by four or more trans-membrane arranged fusion peptides. We rationalize that the lipid rim around such bundle has a non-vanishing rim energy (line-tension), which is essential to (i) stabilize(More)
In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of computer simulation studies of lipid membranes. We focus on collective lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions that trigger deformations of the natural lamellar membrane state, showing that many important biological processes including self-aggregation of membrane components into domains, the formation(More)
The depletion of cholesterol from membranes, mediated by β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) is well known and documented, but the molecular details of this process are largely unknown. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we have been able to study the CD mediated extraction of cholesterol from model membranes, in particular from a pure cholesterol monolayer, at atomic(More)
The mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides is, to our knowledge, still poorly understood. To probe the biophysical characteristics that confer activity, we present here a molecular-dynamics and biophysical study of a cyclic antimicrobial peptide and its inactive linear analog. In the simulations, the cyclic peptide caused large perturbations in the(More)