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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

Publication details for Dr John M. Sanderson

Sanderson, John M (2012). Resolving the kinetics of lipid, protein and peptide diffusion in membranes. Molecular Membrane Biology 29(5): 118–143.

Author(s) from Durham


Recent developments in the understanding of molecular diffusion phenomena in membranes are reviewed. Both model bilayers and biological membranes are considered in respect of lateral diffusion, rotational diffusion and transverse diffusion (flip-flop). For model systems, particular attention is paid to recent data obtained using surface-specific techniques such as sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy on supported lipid bilayers, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy on giant unilamellar vesicles, both of which have yielded new insights into the intrinsic rates of diffusion and the energetic barriers to processes such as lipid flip-flop. Advances in single-molecule and many-molecule fluorescence methodologies have enabled the observation of processes such as anomalous diffusion for some membrane species in biological membranes. These are discussed in terms of new models for the role of membrane interactions with the cytoskeleton, the effects of molecular crowding in membranes, and the formation of lipid rafts. The diffusion of peptides, proteins and lipids is considered, particularly in relation to the means by which antimicrobial peptide activity may be rationalized in terms of membrane poration and lipid flip-flop.