Actin membrane binding

Actin fibres are important for the shape, strength and movement of cells. They can bind to the cell membrane, providing it with support. However, exactly how they bind is unknown. Martini-based simulations (what else ?), supported by experiments, reveal how divalent ions can either enhance or suppress the binding strength dependent on lipid composition. For details, see: Schroer et al., PNAS, online.

actin-membrane.jpg

Martini 2.3 featuring cation-π interactions

Check out this improved version of Martini, now able to represent cation-π interactions and allowing a much more realistic binding of peripheral membrane proteins. The version is coined 2.3, but should not be confused with the forthcoming release of Martini 3 which concerns a thorough recalibration of the full interaction matrix. For details, see:

H.M. Khan et al., Capturing choline-aromatics cation-π interactions in the MARTINI force field, JCTC, 2020. doi.org/10.1021/acs.jctc.9b01194

The new parameter definitions can be downloaded here.

Martini twitter account

Apparently there is this new platform called 'twitter'. I thought it would be a good idea to open an account for Martini, so interested people can keep up to date with the latest developments. Check @CG_Martini and #CG_Martini and spread the word ....

Martini proteins on the move

The application range of Martini keeps expanding. See for instance this recent publication from a Japanese group on conformational changes of a protein upon ligand binding:

T. Negami, K. Shimuzu, T. Terada. Chem. Phys. Lett. 742, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.cplett.2020.137144

Honorary doctorate

DOCTOR-HONORIS-CAUSA.jpg Largely based on the success story of Martini, the University Polytechnica of Bucharest has awarded Prof. Marrink a honorary doctorate ("honoris causa").

See here for more details of the ceremony, which took place on January 15th in Bucharest in the presence of the rector and several local professors, as well as the embassador of the Netherlands in Romenia.

Stress, stress, nothing but stress ....

Do you find working with lipid membranes stressful ? No wonder ! Check out this new paper from the Deserno group, and learn about how difficult it is to get rid of stress in membranes ....

Hossein & Deserno, Spontaneous curvature, differential stress, and bending modulus of asymmetric lipid membranes. Biophys. J., 2019, in press. doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2019.11.3398