Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Pleckstrin homology (PH) domains are membrane-binding lipid recognition proteins that interact with phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) molecules in eukaryotic cell membranes. Diffusion of PH domains plays a critical role in biological reactions on membrane surfaces. Although diffusivity can be estimated by long-time measurements, it lacks information on the short-time diffusive nature. We reveal two diffusive properties of a PH domain bound to the surface of a PIP-containing membrane using molecular dynamics simulations. One is fractional Brownian motion, attributed to the motion of the lipids with which the PH domain interacts. The other is temporally fluctuating diffusivity; that is, the short-time diffusivity of the bound protein changes substantially with time. Moreover, the diffusivity for short-time measurements is intrinsically different from that for long-time measurements. This fluctuating diffusivity results from dynamic changes in interactions between the PH domain and PIP molecules. Our results provide evidence that the complexity of protein-lipid interactions plays a crucial role in the diffusion of proteins on biological membrane surfaces. Changes in the diffusivity of PH domains and related membrane-bound proteins may in turn contribute to the formation/dissolution of protein complexes in membranes.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Adv

Publication Date





Anomalous diffusion, Molecular dynamics simulations, Peripheral membrane proteins, Phosphatidyl-inositol-phosphate, Pleckstrin homology domains