Proteins in lipid membranes are one of the fundamental building blocks of biological functionality. Lawrence Livermore researchers have figured out how to mimic their role using carbon nanotube porins.
Using high-speed, atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM), the team showed that a new type of biomimetic channel — carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs) — also is laterally mobile in supported lipid membranes, mirroring biological protein behavior.
The research opens the door to use CNTPs as models to study membrane protein physics, as well as versatile and mobile components for artificial cells and hybrid systems that combine biological cells and man-made components.
Lipid membranes represent one the fundamental components of the architecture of life because they provide a versatile matrix for a variety of membrane proteins that can perform a variety of tasks including molecular recognition and signal transduction, metabolite transport and membrane remodeling.
The 2D fluid nature of the lipid membrane not only allows it to adapt to a variety of shapes, but also permits membrane proteins to diffuse within this 2D plane, enabling many important biological processes.
“To understand the fundamental physics of protein motion in the lipid membrane, we needed an approach that would combine simple and robust membrane protein models with imaging and tracking approaches that can follow membrane motion on the relevant length and time scales,” said Yuliang Zhang, an LLNL postdoctoral researcher and lead author of a paper in the journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.
The team created simple and versatile artificial membrane pore equivalents — CNTPs —that are made of short segments of single-wall carbon nanotubes that can self-insert into the lipid membrane and form a transmembrane pore. These very simple objects show a wealth of behaviors similar to membrane protein pores: they can transport water, ions and protons across the membrane.
“We found that the CNTPS were able to reproduce another key property of membrane proteins — their ability to diffuse in the lipid membrane,” said Alex Noy, LLNL scientist and the principal investigator on the CNTP project. “High-speed AFM imaging can capture real-time dynamics of CNTP motion in the supported lipid bi-layer membrane.”
Zhang said the study demonstrates that the similarities between CNTPs and biological membrane pores include not only similar transport properties, but also the ability to move laterally in the membrane.
Learn more: Carbon nanotubes mimic biology
The Latest on: Carbon nanotube porins
via Google News
The Latest on: Carbon nanotube porins
- selectivity in subnanometer carbonon January 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Horner and Pohl argue that high water transport rates reported for carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs) originate from leakage at the nanotube-bilayer interface. Our results and new experimental evidence ...
- Carbon nanotubes mime biologyon December 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm
The research appears on the cover of the journal Advanced Materials ("Membranes: Carbon Nanotube Porins in Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as Fully Synthetic Mimics of Biological Membranes"). An artist’s ...
- Enhanced water permeability and tunable ion selectivity in subnanometer carbon nanotube porinson August 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm
1 Biology and Biotechnology Division, Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA. 2 Physics Department, Northeastern University, Boston, ...
- Outperforming nature's water filtration ability with nanotubeson August 24, 2017 at 12:06 pm
Intriguingly, they found that carbon nanotubes with a width of 0.8 nanometers outperformed aquaporins in filtering efficiency by a factor of six. These narrow carbon nanotube ... Science.
- Outperforming nature's water filtration ability with nanotubeson August 24, 2017 at 11:05 am
These narrow carbon nanotube porins (nCNTPs) were still slim enough to force the water molecules into a single-file chain. The researchers attribute the differences between aquaporins and nCNTPS to ...
- Carbon nanotubes worth their salton August 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm
An artist’s depiction of the promise of carbon nanotube porins for desalination. The image depicts a stylized carbon nanotube pipe that delivers clean desalinated water from the ocean to a kitchen tap ...
- Carbon nanotubes mimic biologyon July 7, 2017 at 3:53 am
Lawrence Livermore researchers have figured out how to mimic their role using carbon nanotube porins. Using high-speed, atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM), the team showed that a new type of biomimetic ...
- Synthesis, lipid membrane incorporation, and ion permeability testing of carbon nanotube porinson September 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs) are 10- to 20-nm-long segments of lipid-stabilized single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that can be inserted into phospholipid membranes to form ...
- Ultrafast proton transport in sub-1-nm diameter carbon nanotube porinson April 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Here, we show that 0.8-nm-diameter carbon nanotube porins, which promote the formation of one-dimensional water wires, can support proton transport rates exceeding those of bulk water by an order of ...
- Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impacton October 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm
These carbon nanotube "porins" have significant implications for future health care and bioengineering applications. Nanotube porins eventually could be used to deliver drugs to the body, serve as a ...
via Bing News