Microscopic view of lipids and their diverse biological functions

Po Chao Wen, Paween Mahinthichaichan, Noah Trebesch, Tao Jiang, Zhiyu Zhao, Eric Shinn, Yuhang Wang, Mrinal Shekhar, Karan Kapoor, Chun Kit Chan, Emad Tajkhorshid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Biological membranes and their diverse lipid constituents play key roles in a broad spectrum of cellular and physiological processes. Characterization of membrane-associated phenomena at a microscopic level is therefore essential to our fundamental understanding of such processes. Due to the semi-fluid and dynamic nature of lipid bilayers, and their complex compositions, detailed characterization of biological membranes at an atomic scale has been refractory to experimental approaches. Computational modeling and simulation offer a highly complementary toolset with sufficient spatial and temporal resolutions to fill this gap. Here, we review recent molecular dynamics studies focusing on the diversity of lipid composition of biological membranes, or aiming at the characterization of lipid–protein interaction, with the overall goal of dissecting how lipids impact biological roles of the cellular membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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