Membrane Structure Obtained in an Experimental Evolution Process.

Recently, an evolution experiment was carried out in a cyclic process, which involved periodic vesicle formation in combination with peptide and vesicle selection. As an outcome, an octapeptide (KSPFPFAA) was identified which rapidly integrated into the vesicle membrane and, according to its significant accumulation, is obviously connected to a particular advantage of the corresponding functionalized vesicle. Here we report a molecular dynamics study of the structural details of the functionalized vesicle membrane, which was a product of this evolution process and is connected to several survival mechanisms. In order to elucidate the particular advantage of this structure, we performed all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to examine structural changes and interactions of the peptide (KSPFPFAA) with the given octadecanoic acid/octadecylamine (1:1) bilayer under acidic conditions. The calculations clearly demonstrate the specific interactions between the peptide and the membrane and reveal the mechanisms leading to the improved vesicle survival.


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