Figure 3.

How spontaneous curvature of lipids could affect channel function. The hydrophobic thickness of the lipid bilayer matches that of the channel in the closed state, but the hydrophobic thickness of the channel could increase on channel opening. This would require stretching of the lipid bilayer around the protein to maintain hydrophobic matching, and the associated curving of the bilayer would be easier if the lipid bilayer contains lipids that prefer to adopt a curved structure.

Lee Journal of Biology 2009 8:86   doi:10.1186/jbiol178
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