Physics-Biology Interface seminar: Martin Michael Müller


11:00 - 12:00

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Protein-membrane interactions with a twist

Martin Michael Müller (U. de Lorraine)

To understand how a biofilament can interact with a lipid membrane, mesoscopic models are of particular interest.
Within a framework of elasticity theory and geometry, two mechanisms have been proposed, which can induce membrane deformations
due to a biofilament: the Twister and the Darboux torque mechanism [1]. Whereas the Darboux torque mechanism has been shown to
explain membrane deformations by a polymer in several important biological systems, the Twister mechanism has been studied more
carefully only recently [2].

In my talk I will discuss how the Twister mechanism together with numerical simulations can explain the membrane translocation
of botulinium toxins, which are among the most powerful toxins produced in nature. The initial deformation of the membrane by
the toxin is caused by the presence of local torques arising from asymmetric positions of hydrophobic residues. Different
torque distributions are observed in the simulations and permit an origin for the mechanism opening the membrane to be proposed.

[1] J. Fierling et al. Soft Matter, 12:5747, 2016.

[2] A. Delort et al. IJMS, 25:2481, 2024.

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