Membrane Organization

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Editor’s Name
Professor Parkson Chong, Temple University
Professor Juyang Huang, Texas Tech University

Introduction of the special issue

How lipids and proteins are organized in membranes at the molecular level is one of the most fundamental questions in membrane biophysics. The answers to this question are key to understanding membrane behaviors and functions. In the last 25 years or so, several theories and models (e.g., sterol regular distributions, umbrella model, condensed complexes, sludge-like superlattice model) have been proposed to delineate the lateral organization of lipids in the plane of model membranes. Through various studies, there is increasing awareness of the importance of membrane lipid compositions. Today, we know that a small change in lipid composition (cholesterol composition in particular) could lead to huge changes in membrane lateral organization and membrane activity. We also recognize that membrane preparation, membrane thermal history, and whether the membrane system has reached a thermodynamic equilibrium are all non-trivial issues when studying lipid lateral organization in model membranes. To date, more studies are in demand to further reveal the physical driving forces and mechanisms of lipid lateral organization and reconcile the differences among various theories/models. Furthermore, more studies are needed in order to reveal protein lateral organization in model membranes. In cells, there are also many prominent examples showing the functional importance of membrane organization and the need for more biophysics studies in this area. For example, membrane rafts are known as functional membrane domains, yet, their physical origin remains elusive. Phosphatidylserine, a negatively charged phospholipid at neutral pH normally residing in the inner leaflet of the cell plasma membranes, becomes abundant in the outer leaflet during various diseased states such as cancers. The mechanisms of this change in transmembrane asymmetry are not fully understood.

In this context, we would like to invite authors to submit original research and review articles on membrane organization. We shall focus on vesicular and planar membrane bilayers including cell membranes, rather than monolayers (except for archaeal tetraether mono-molecular membranes).

Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:
• novel experimental, computational, and theoretical methodologies and approaches to study membrane organization
• recent advances in understanding lateral organization of lipids and proteins in model and cell membranes
• new insights into membrane rafts, lateral and vertical micro-heterogeneity, membrane domains, annular lipids, membrane organization in intracellular and extracellular vesicles (exosomes), bilayer asymmetry in diseased or apoptotic cells

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed before their acceptance for publication. Accepted articles will be published in AIMS Biophysics open access free of charge. The deadline for manuscript submission is March 31, 2017.

Instructions for authors
Please submit your manuscript to online submission system

Carl S. Helrich
AIMS Biophysics, 2017, 4(3): 415-437. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.415
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István P. Sugár, Parkson Lee-Gau Chong
AIMS Biophysics, 2017, 4(2): 316-336. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.2.316
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Jay L. Brewster
AIMS Biophysics, 2017, 4(2): 222-239. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.2.222
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Gérald Gaibelet, François Tercé, Sophie Allart, Chantal Lebrun, Xavier Collet, Nadège Jamin, Stéphane Orlowski
AIMS Biophysics, 2017, 4(1): 121-151. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.1.121
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