Flippase motor mediated membrane curvature

This structural model shown in the image below is a model of a nanowire from Shewanella oneidensis. (P. Subramanian, S. Pirbadian, M. El-Naggar, G.J.Jensen, BioRXiv(2016)). Similar outer-membrane-vesicle-chains (OMVCs) are found in a number of other bacterial species and resemble Delaunay surfaces (surfaces of constant mean curvature). Such surfaces have an imbalance between the inner and outer (effective) surface area of the lipid bilayer membrane. Such an imbalance can be created and maintained by flippase or floppase motors (red) which pull lipid molecules from one side of a membrane to the other.

Simulations of "flippases" and other more general or complex molecular motors are possible using the "molecular cellular automata" code extensions for simulating active matter.

3-D graphics generated by VMD & topotools .
Septemmber 21 2017
Andrew Jewett