J. Phys. II France
Volume 5, Numéro 10, October 1995
Page(s) 1427 - 1431
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1995103
J. Phys. II France 5 (1995) 1427-1431

Elasticity of Lipid Bilayer Interacting with Amphiphilic Helical Peptides

Huey W. Huang

Physics Department, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251-1892, U.S.A.

(Received 15 March 1995, received in final form 11 August 1995, accepted 16 August 1995)

Amphiphilic helical peptides exhibit an insertion transition when they interact with lipid bilayers. At low concentrations, the peptides adsorb at the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface with the helical axes parallel to the bilayer surface. However, if the peptide concentration is above a critical value, a macroscopic fraction of the peptide molecules insert perpendicularly into the bilayer. The existence of a critical concentration for insertion is crucial to the peptides biological function. This phenomena can be understood in terms of the conventional theory of elasticity for a lipid bilayer.

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