Adhesion and clustering of charge isomers of myelin basic protein at model myelin membranes

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2003 Nov 15;419(2):170-7. doi: 10.1016/


The association of myelin basic protein charge isomers with the lipid part of the myelin membrane was investigated at the microscopic (molecular) level in a model membrane system, using optical waveguide lightmode spectrometry to determine with high precision the kinetics of association and dissociation to planar phospholipid membranes under controlled hydrodynamic conditions and over a range of protein concentrations. Detailed analysis of the data revealed a rich and intricate behaviour and clearly showed that the membrane protein affinity is characterized by at least four independent parameters: (i) the association rate coefficient characterizing the protein-membrane interaction energy as the protein approaches the fluid-membrane interface; (ii) the protein-membrane adhesion, i.e., the probability that it will remain at the membrane after arrival; (iii) the protein conformation at the membrane; and (iv) the protein's tendency to cluster at the membrane. Some of these parameters varied in characteristic ways as the bulk solution concentration of the protein was varied, giving further clues to the detailed molecular comportment of the protein. The parameters and their characteristic variations with bulk concentration were markedly different for the different isomers. Implications of these results for neurological disorders involving demyelination, such as multiple sclerosis, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Computer Simulation
  • Isomerism
  • Lipid Bilayers / chemistry*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Fluidity*
  • Membrane Fusion*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Myelin Basic Protein / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / chemistry*
  • Phosphatidylserines / chemistry*
  • Protein Binding
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Static Electricity
  • Surface Properties


  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine