J. K. Sigurdsson*, F. L. H. Brown# P. J. Atzberger*+
*Department of Mathematics
#Department of Mechanical Engineering
+Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Physics, UC Santa Barbara
Many proteins through their geometry and specific interactions with lipids induce changes in local membrane material properties. This can manifest in local stiffness variations and locally induced curvatures that track protein location. To study such phenomena we introduce a new hybrid continuum-particle description for the membrane-protein system that incorporates protein interactions, hydrodynamic coupling, and thermal fluctuations. We investigate how collective protein effects influence membrane mechanical properties, such as the spectrum of membrane bending fluctuations and the effective elastic bending modulus of the heterogeneous protein-lipid membrane. Finally, we discuss interesting aspects of the numerical methods that are required to obtain approximations that exhibit good translation invariance, thereby fixing prior issues with such methods where proteins have erroneously favored lattice locations in simulations.
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