skip to main content


Title: Spontaneous bilayer wrapping of virus particles by a phospholipid Langmuir monolayer
Abstract

We report here the spontaneous formation of lipid-bilayer-wrapped virus particles, following the injection of “naked” virus particles into the subphase of a Langmuir trough with a liquid monolayer of lipids at its air–water interface. The virus particles are those of the well-studied cowpea chlorotic mottle virus, CCMV, which are negatively charged at the pH 6 of the subphase; the lipids are a 9:1 mix of neutral DMPC and cationic CTAB molecules. Before adding CCMV particles to the subphase we establish the mixed lipid monolayer in its liquid-expanded state at a fixed pressure (17.5 mN/m) and average area-per-molecule of (41Å2). Keeping the total area fixed, the surface pressure is observed to decrease at about 15 h after adding the virus particles in the subphase; by 37 h it has dropped to zero, corresponding to essentially all the lipid molecules having been removed from the air–water interface. By collecting particles from the subphase and measuring their sizes by atomic force microscopy, we show that the virus particles have been wrapped by lipid bilayers (or by two lipid bilayers). These results can be understood in terms of thermal fluctuations and electrostatic interactions driving the wrapping of the anionic virus particles by the cationic lipids.

Graphical Abstract

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10477941
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Springer Science + Business Media
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The European Physical Journal E
Volume:
46
Issue:
12
ISSN:
1292-8941
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract

    Synthetic lipid membranes are self-assembled biomolecular double layers designed to approximate the properties of living cell membranes. These membranes are employed as model systems for studying the interactions of cellular envelopes with the surrounding environment in a controlled platform. They are constructed by dispersing amphiphilic lipids into a combination of immiscible fluids enabling the biomolecules to self-assemble into ordered sheets, or monolayers at the oil-water interface. The adhesion of two opposing monolayer sheets forms the membrane, or the double layer. The mechanical properties of these synthetic membranes often differ from biological ones mainly due to the presence of residual solvent in between the leaflets. In fact, the double layer compresses in response to externally applied electrical field with an intensity that varies depending on the solvent present. While typically viewed as a drawback associated with their assembly, in this work the elasticity of the double layer is utilized to further quantify complex biophysical phenomena. The adsorption of charged molecules on the surface of a lipid bilayer is a key property to decipher biomolecule interactions at the interface of the cell membrane, as well as to develop effective antimicrobial peptides and similar membrane-active molecules. This adsorption generates a difference in the boundary potentials on either side of the membrane which may be tracked through electrophysiology. The soft synthetic membranes produced in the laboratory compress when exposed to an electric field. Tracking the minimum membrane capacitance allows for quantifying when the intrinsic electric field produced by the asymmetry is properly compensated by the supplied transmembrane voltage. The technique adopted in this work is the intramembrane field compensation (IFC). This technique focuses on the current generated by the bilayer in response to a sinusoidal voltage with a DC component, VDC. Briefly, the output sinusoidal current is divided into its harmonics and the second harmonic equals zero when VDC compensates the internal electric field. In this work, we apply the IFC technique to droplet interface bilayers (DIB) enabling the development of a biological sensor. A certain membrane elasticity is needed for accurate measurements and is tuned through the solvent selection. The asymmetric DIBs are formed, and an automated PID-controlled IFC design is implemented to rapidly track and compensate the membrane asymmetry. The closed loop system continuously reads the current and generates the corresponding voltage until the second harmonic is abated. This research describes the development and optimization of a biological sensor and examines how varying the structure of the synthetic membrane influences its capabilities for detecting membrane-environment interactions. This platform may be applied towards studying the interactions of membrane-active molecules and developing models for the associated phenomena to enhance their design.

     
    more » « less
  2. We use diamond nanoparticles (DNPs) wrapped in the cationic polyelectrolyte poly(allylamine) hydrochloride (PAH) and bilayers composed of either pure DOPC or a mixture of DOPC/DOPG to investigate the influence of membrane phospholipid composition and net surface charge on nanoparticle-membrane interactions and the extent of nanoparticle adhesion to supported phospholipid bilayers. Our results show that in all cases electrostatic attractions between the negatively charged bilayer and cationic PAH-DNP were responsible for the initial attachment of particles, and the lateral electrostatic repulsion between adsorbed particles on the bilayer surface determined the final extent of PAH-DNP attachment. Upon attachment, NPs attract lipids by the contact ion pairing between the ammonium groups on PAH and phosphate and glycerol groups on the lipids and acquire a lipid corona. Lipid corona formation on the PAH-DNP reduces the effective charge density of the particle and is in fact a key factor determining the final extent of NP attachment to the bilayer. Incorporation of DOPG to the bilayer leads to a decrease in efficiency and final extent of attachment compared to DOPC alone. The reduction in PAH-DNP attachment in the presence of DOPG is attributed to the adsorption of free PAH in equilibrium with bound PAH in the nanoparticle solution, thus reducing electrostatic attraction between PAH-DNPs and SLBs. This leads to an increase in hydrogen bonding interactions between lipid headgroups that limits extraction of phospholipids from the bilayer by PAH-DNP, lessening the reduction in interparticle repulsion achieved by acquisition of a lipid corona. Our results indicate that the inclusion of charged phospholipids in SLBs changes bilayer rigidity and stability and hinders the attachment of PAH-DNPs by preventing lipid extraction from the bilayer. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract The surface tension of xylem sap has been traditionally assumed to be close to that of the pure water because decreasing surface tension is thought to increase vulnerability to air seeding and embolism. However, xylem sap contains insoluble lipid-based surfactants, which also coat vessel and pit membrane surfaces, where gas bubbles can enter xylem under negative pressure in the process known as air seeding. Because of the insolubility of amphiphilic lipids, the surface tension influencing air seeding in pit pores is not the equilibrium surface tension of extracted bulk sap but the local surface tension at gas–liquid interfaces, which depends dynamically on the local concentration of lipids per surface area. To estimate the dynamic surface tension in lipid layers that line surfaces in the xylem apoplast, we studied the time-dependent and surface area-regulated surface tensions of apoplastic lipids extracted from xylem sap of four woody angiosperm plants using constrained drop surfactometry. Xylem lipids were found to demonstrate potent surface activity, with surface tensions reaching an equilibrium at ~25 mN m-1 and varying between a minimum of 19 mN m-1 and a maximum of 68 mN m-1 when changing the surface area between 50 and 160% around the equilibrium surface area. It is concluded that xylem lipid films in natural conditions most likely range from nonequilibrium metastable conditions of a supersaturated compression state to an undersaturated expansion state, depending on the local surface areas of gas–liquid interfaces. Together with findings that maximum pore constrictions in angiosperm pit membranes are much smaller than previously assumed, low dynamic surface tension in xylem turns out to be entirely compatible with the cohesion–tension and air-seeding theories, as well as with the existence of lipid-coated nanobubbles in xylem sap, and with the range of vulnerabilities to embolism observed in plants. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Lipid droplets (LDs) are ubiquitously expressed organelles; the only intracellular organelles that contain a lipid monolayer rather than a bilayer. Proteins localize and bind to this monolayer as they do to intracellular lipid bilayers. The mechanism by which cytosolic LD binding proteins recognize, and bind, to this lipid interface remains poorly understood. Amphipathic α-helix bundles form a common motif that is shared between cytosolic LD binding proteins (e.g., perilipins 2, 3, and 5) and apolipoproteins, such as apoE and apoLp-III, found on lipoprotein particles. Here, we use pendant drop tensiometry to expand our previous work on the C-terminal α-helix bundle of perilipin 3 and the full-length protein. We measure the recruitment and insertion of perilipin 3 at mixed lipid monolayers at an aqueous-phospholipid-oil interface. We find that, compared to its C-terminus alone, the full-length perilipin 3 has a higher affinity for both a neat oil/aqueous interface and a phosphatidylcholine (PC) coated oil/aqueous interface. Both the full-length protein and the C-terminus show significantly more insertion into a fully unsaturated PC monolayer, contrary to our previous results at the air-aqueous interface. Additionally, the C-terminus shows a preference for lipid monolayers containing phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), whereas the full-length protein does not. These results strongly support a model whereby both the N-terminal 11-mer repeat region and C-terminal amphipathic α-helix bundle domains of perilipin 3 have distinct lipid binding, and potentially biological roles. 
    more » « less
  5. Forcible wetting of hydrophobic pores represents a viable method for energy storage in the form of interfacial energy. The energy used to fill the pores can be recovered as pressure–volume work upon decompression. For efficient recovery, the expulsion pressure should not be significantly lower than the pressure required for infiltration. Hysteresis of the wetting/drying cycle associated with the kinetic barrier to liquid expulsion results in energy dissipation and reduced storage efficiency. In the present work, we use open ensemble (Grand Canonical) Monte Carlo simulations to study the improvement of energy recovery with decreasing diameters of planar pores. Near-complete reversibility is achieved at pore widths barely accommodating a monolayer of the liquid, thus minimizing the area of the liquid/gas interface during the cavitation process. At the same time, these conditions lead to a steep increase in the infiltration pressure required to overcome steric wall/water repulsion in a tight confinement and a considerable reduction in the translational entropy of confined molecules. In principle, similar effects can be expected when increasing the size of the liquid particles without altering the absorbent porosity. While the latter approach is easier to follow in laboratory work, we discuss the advantages of reducing the pore diameter, which reduces the cycling hysteresis while simultaneously improving the stored-energy density in the material.

     
    more » « less