Uncoupling between the lipid membrane dynamics of differing hierarchical levels

Cheng Zhi Xie, Shih Min Chang, Eugene Mamontov, Laura R. Stingaciu, Yi Fan Chen

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Diverse biological functions of biomembranes are made possible by their rich dynamic behaviors across multiple scales. While the potential coupling between the dynamics of differing scales may underlie the machineries regulating the biomembrane-involving processes, the mechanism and even the existence of this coupling remain an open question, despite the latter being taken for granted. Via inelastic neutron scattering, we examined dynamics across multiple scales for the lipid membranes whose dynamic behaviors were perturbed by configurational changes at two membrane regions. Surprisingly, the dynamic behavior of individual lipid molecules and their collective motions were not always coupled. This suggests that the expected causal relation between the dynamics of the differing hierarchical levels does not exist and that an apparent coupling can emerge by manipulating certain membrane configurations. The findings provide insight on biomembrane modeling and how cells might individually or concertedly control the multiscale membrane dynamics to regulate their functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012416
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2020


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