Simulations of Membrane Tubulation by Lattices of Amphiphysin N-BAR Domains

Ying Yin, Anton Arkhipov, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Membrane compartments of manifold shapes are found in cells, often sculpted by cellular proteins. In particular, proteins of the BAR domain superfamily participate in membrane-sculpting processes in vivo and reshape also in vitro low-curvature membrane liposomes into high-curvature tubes and vesicles. Here we show by means of computer simulations totaling over 1 millisecond, how lattices involving parallel rows of amphiphysin N-BAR domains sculpt flat membranes into tubes. A highly detailed, dynamic picture of the 100-microsecond formation of membrane tubes by lattices of N-BAR domains is obtained. Lattice types inducing a wide range of membrane curvatures, with radii approximately 15-100 nm, are explored. The results suggest that multiple lattice types are viable for efficient membrane bending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)882-892
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 2009
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology


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