Date of Original Version
Biophysical Journal, Volume 95, November 2008, 4163–4173
Abstract or Table of Contents
We investigate the interactions between lipid bilayers and amphiphilic peptides using a solvent-free coarsegrained simulation technique. In our model, each lipid is represented by one hydrophilic and three hydrophobic beads. The amphiphilic peptide is modeled as a hydrophobic-hydrophilic cylinder with hydrophilic caps. We find that with increasing peptide-lipid attraction the preferred state of the peptide changes from desorbed, to adsorbed, to inserted. A single peptide with weak attraction binds on the bilayer surface, while one with strong attraction spontaneously inserts into the bilayer. We show how several peptides, which individually bind only to the bilayer surface, cooperatively insert. Furthermore, hydrophilic strips along the peptide cylinder induce the formation of multipeptide pores, whose size and morphology depend on the peptides’ overall hydrophilicity, the distribution of hydrophilic residues, and the peptide-peptide interactions. Strongly hydrophilic peptides insert less readily, but prove to be more destructive to bilayer integrity.