The role of electrostatics in protein-membrane interactions

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Aug;1761(8):812-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2006.07.002. Epub 2006 Jul 14.


Many experimental, structural and computational studies have established the importance of nonspecific electrostatics as a driving force for peripheral membrane association. Here we focus on this component of protein/membrane interactions by using examples ranging from phosphoinositide signaling to retroviral assembly. We stress the utility of the collaboration of experiment and theory in identifying and quantifying the role of electrostatics not only in contributing to membrane association, but also in affecting subcellular targeting, in the control of membrane binding, and in the organization of proteins and lipids at membrane surfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Glutamates / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Phosphatidylinositols / chemistry
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protons
  • Retroviridae / physiology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Static Electricity*
  • Virus Assembly


  • Glutamates
  • Ligands
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • Protons