© 2012

Formation and Cooperative Behaviour of Protein Complexes on the Cell Membrane

  • Nominated as an outstanding contribution by the University of Aberdeen

  • Contains essential new results on the statistical mechanics and dynamics of macromolecular assembly

  • Yields important conclusions and predictions for biological membranes

  • Work done in close cooperations with biologists studying membrane proteins


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Ksenia Guseva
    Pages 1-3
  3. Ksenia Guseva
    Pages 69-78
  4. Ksenia Guseva
    Pages 79-80

About this book


With the aim of providing a deeper insight into possible mechanisms of biological self-organization, this thesis presents new approaches to describe the process of self-assembly and the impact of spatial organization on the function of membrane proteins, from a statistical physics point of view. It focuses on three important scenarios: the assembly of membrane proteins, the collective response of mechanosensitive channels and the function of the twin arginine translocation (Tat) system. Using methods from equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, general conclusions were drawn that demonstrate the importance of the protein-protein interactions. Namely, in the first part a general aggregation dynamics model is formulated, and used to show that fragmentation crucially affects the efficiency of the self-assembly process of proteins. In the second part, by mapping the membrane-mediated forces into a simplified many-body system, the dynamic and equilibrium behaviour of interacting mechanosensitive channels is derived, showing that protein agglomeration strongly impacts its desired function. The final part develops a model that incorporates both the agglomeration and transport function of the Tat system, thereby providing a comprehensive description of this self-organizing process.


Macromolecular dynamics Mechanosensitive channels Membrane functional organization Outstanding PhD thesis Protein assembly Protein-protein interactions Self-organization and self-assembly

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1., Dept. of Theoretical PhysicsCarl v. Ossietzky University OldenburgOldenburgGermany

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