Adsorption of proteins onto membranes can alter the local membrane curvature. This phenomenon has been observed in biological processes such as endocytosis, tubulation and vesiculation. However, it is not clear how the local surface properties of the membrane, such as membrane tension, change in response to protein adsorption. In this paper, we show that the classical elastic model of lipid membranes cannot account for simultaneous changes in shape and membrane tension due to protein adsorption in a local region, and a viscous-elastic formulation is necessary to fully describe the system. Therefore, we develop a viscous-elastic model for inhomogeneous membranes of the Helfrich type. Using the new viscous-elastic model, we find that the lipids flow to accommodate changes in membrane curvature during protein adsorption. We show that, at the end of protein adsorption process, the system sustains a residual local tension to balance the difference between the actual mean curvature and the imposed spontaneous curvatures. This change in membrane tension can have a functional impact in many biological phenomena where proteins interact with membranes.
- Pub Date:
- August 2014
- Quantitative Biology - Cell Behavior;
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter;
- Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics;
- Physics - Biological Physics
- 15 pages, 5 figures