Cellular plasma membranes (PM) contain hundreds of lipid species that are heterogeneously distributed in the membrane plane, forming local domains of altered composition. Cells tightly regulate their lipid composition because lipids influence membrane protein function, both directly through lipid-protein interactions and indirectly through changes in bilayer properties. Yet larger differences in lipid composition are observed between different cell types. By constructing a realistically complex lipid model of a neuronal PM, we can determine the membrane’s properties and compare to that of an average PM. Even though the neuronal lipid mixture is significantly different from the average mixture, the main changes in mixture are carefully counterbalanced, resulting in a range of surprisingly similar membrane properties while domain structure and dynamics differ significantly between the neuronal PM and the average PM.
The following links provide the simulation files for the Average and the Brain mixtures. Links for each mixture give the Martini parameter files (.itp) as well a listing of the molecules in the simulations (.top GROMACS topology files) and the simulation coordinates after 40 and 80 microseconds of simulation time (.gro files).