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Cationic Liposome-Microtubule Complexes: Pathways to the Formation of Two-State Lipid-Protein Nanotubes with Open or Closed Ends

Uri Raviv, Daniel J. Needleman, Youli Li, Herbert P. Miller, Leslie Wilson, Cyrus R. Safinya and Michael E. Fisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 102, No. 32 (Aug. 9, 2005), pp. 11167-11172
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3376239
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cationic Liposome-Microtubule Complexes: Pathways to the Formation of Two-State Lipid-Protein Nanotubes with Open or Closed Ends
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Abstract

Intermolecular interactions between charged membranes and biological polyelectrolytes, tuned by physical parameters, which include the membrane charge density and bending rigidity, the membrane spontaneous curvature, the biopolymer curvature, and the overall charge of the complex, lead to distinct structures and morphologies. The self-assembly of cationic liposome-microtubule (MT) complexes was studied, using synchrotron x-ray scattering and electron microscopy. Vesicles were found to either adsorb onto MTs, forming a "beads on a rod" structure, or undergo a wetting transition and coating the MT. Tubulin oligomers then coat the external lipid layer, forming a tunable lipid-protein nanotube. The beads on a rod structure is a kinetically trapped state. The energy barrier between the states depends on the membrane bending rigidity and charge density. By controlling the cationic lipid/tubulin stoichiometry it is possible to switch between two states of nanotubes with either open ends or closed ends with lipid caps, a process that forms the basis for controlled chemical and drug encapsulation and release.

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