This paper reports on a simulation of a gramicidin channel inserted into a fluid phase DMPC bilayer with 100 lipid molecules. Two lipid molecules per leaflet were removed to insert the gramicidin, so the resulting preparation had 96 lipid molecules and 3209 water molecules. Constant surface tension boundary conditions were employed. Like previous simulations with a lower lipid/gramicidin ratio (Woolf, T. B., and B. Roux. 1996. Proteins: Struct., Funct., Genet. 24:92-114), it is found that tryptophan-water hydrogen bonds are more common than tryptophan-phospholipid hydrogen bonds. However, one of the tryptophan NH groups entered into an unusually long-lived hydrogen bonding pattern with two glycerol oxygens of one of the phospholipid molecules. Comparisons were made between the behavior of the lipids adjacent to the channel with those farther away. It was found that hydrocarbon chains of lipids adjacent to the channel had higher, order parameters than those farther away. The thickness of the lipid bilayer immediately adjacent to the channel was greater than it was farther away. In general, the lipids adjacent to the membrane had similar orientations to those seen by Woolf and Roux, while those farther away had similar orientations to those pertaining before the insertion of the gramicidin. A corollary to this observation is that the thickness of the hydrocarbon region adjacent to the gramicidin was much thicker than what other studies have identified as the 'hydrophobic length' of the gramicidin channel.
ASJC Scopus subject areas