Adsorption of charged macromolecules on mixed fluid membranes

Daniel Harries, Sylvio May, Avinoam Ben-Shaul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The adsorption of charge rigid macromolecules, such as proteins from solution, on mixed (charged and neutral) lipid membranes is affected by several important factors. First, the mobile lipids in the membrane may rearrange, and demix locally to match the charge density of the apposed macromolecule, thus lowering the adsorption free energy. On the other hand, the (electrostatic) interaction between adsorbed macromolecules tends to lower the saturation coverage of the membrane. Additional factors, such as non-ideal lipid demixing or an elastic membrane response, enhanced by the presence of the charged macromolecules, may be at the base of the experimentally observed formation of high density protein domains and lateral macro-phase separation in lipid membranes.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 14 Aug 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support of the Israel Science Foundation (Excellence Center grant No. 8013/00) and the US–Israel Binational Science Foundation (grant No. 94/130) is gratefully acknowledged. SM thanks the DFG for the support through SFB 197. DH thanks the Clore Foundation for a doctoral Fellowship. The Fritz Haber research center is supported by the Minerva foundation, Munich, Germany. A considerable part of this work is based on a recent paper by May, Harries and Ben-Shaul, Biophysical J. 79 (2000) 1747.


  • Electrostatic interactions
  • Lipid membranes
  • Macromolecules


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