Publications by authors named "Rebecca D Usery"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Membrane Bending Moduli of Coexisting Liquid Phases Containing Transmembrane Peptide.

Biophys J 2018 05;114(9):2152-2164

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Electronic address:

A number of highly curved membranes in vivo, such as epithelial cell microvilli, have the relatively high sphingolipid content associated with "raft-like" composition. Given the much lower bending energy measured for bilayers with "nonraft" low sphingomyelin and low cholesterol content, observing high curvature for presumably more rigid compositions seems counterintuitive. To understand this behavior, we measured membrane rigidity by fluctuation analysis of giant unilamellar vesicles. We found that including a transmembrane helical GWALP peptide increases the membrane bending modulus of the liquid-disordered (Ld) phase. We observed this increase at both low-cholesterol fraction and higher, more physiological cholesterol fraction. We find that simplified, commonly used Ld and liquid-ordered (Lo) phases are not representative of those that coexist. When Ld and Lo phases coexist, GWALP peptide favors the Ld phase with a partition coefficient of 3-10 depending on mixture composition. In model membranes at high cholesterol fractions, Ld phases with GWALP have greater bending moduli than the Lo phase that would coexist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2018.03.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5961461PMC
May 2018

Line Tension Controls Liquid-Disordered + Liquid-Ordered Domain Size Transition in Lipid Bilayers.

Biophys J 2017 Apr;112(7):1431-1443

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Electronic address:

To better understand animal cell plasma membranes, we studied simplified models, namely four-component lipid bilayer mixtures. Here we describe the domain size transition in the region of coexisting liquid-disordered (Ld) + liquid-ordered (Lo) phases. This transition occurs abruptly in composition space with domains increasing in size by two orders of magnitude, from tens of nanometers to microns. We measured the line tension between coexisting Ld and Lo domains close to the domain size transition for a variety of lipid mixtures, finding that in every case the transition occurs at a line tension of ∼0.3 pN. A computational model incorporating line tension and dipole repulsion indicated that even small changes in line tension can result in domains growing in size by several orders of magnitude, consistent with experimental observations. We find that other properties of the coexisting Ld and Lo phases do not change significantly in the vicinity of the abrupt domain size transition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2017.02.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5390056PMC
April 2017
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