||Polymer brush-induced depletion interactions and clustering of membrane proteins
||Hyeon, Changbong,Tom, Anvy Moly,Kim, Won Kyu
||JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 2021
||We investigate the effect of mobile polymer brushes on proteins embedded in biological membranes by employing both Asakura-Oosawa type of theoretical model and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. The brush polymer-induced depletion attraction between proteins changes non-monotonically with the size of brush. The depletion interaction, which is determined by the ratio of the protein size to the grafting distance between brush polymers, increases linearly with the brush size as long as the polymer brush height is shorter than the protein size. When the brush height exceeds the protein size, however, the depletion attraction among proteins is slightly reduced. We also explore the possibility of the brush polymer-induced assembly of a large protein cluster, which can be related to one of many molecular mechanisms underlying recent experimental observations of integrin nanocluster formation and signaling.