We present here a new method for calculating the radius of a transmembrane pore in a phospholipid bilayer. To compare size-related properties of pores in bilayers of various compositions, generated and maintained under different physical and chemical conditions, reference metrics are needed. Operational metrics can be associated with some observed behavior. For example, pore size can be defined by the largest object that will pass through the length of the pore. The novelty of the present approach resides in the characterization of electropore geometry via a statistical approach, based on essential dynamics rules. We define the pore size geometrically with an algorithm for determining the pore radius. In particular, we extract the radius from the tri-dimensional surface of a defined pore region. The method is applied to a pore formed in a phospholipid bilayer by application of an external electric field. Although the details described here are specific for lipid pores in molecular dynamics simulations, the method can be generalized for any kind of pores for which appropriate structural information is available.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 19, 2016
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