Modeling Lipid Particles
- Last Updated: Thursday, 18 February 2021 09:48
Low-density and high-density lipoproteins (LDL/HDL) transport cholesterol in the bloodstream, and play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis. Despite their importance to health, their structure is not known in detail. They consist of a mixture of components including phospholipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, and associated proteins. The Martini model has proven useful to study the structure and dynamics of these particles.
Studies were originally performed on a model spheroidal HDL particle , focusing on the overal shape of the particle and the role of the associated apoA-I protein; subsequent studies  involved a more realistic lipid distribution inside HDL. Most recently the much larger LDL particle was investigated using the Martini model  (see figure).
Other lipid based particles that have been simulated with Martini include a large variety of nanodiscs i.e., lipid bicelles stabilized by scaffolding proteins or DNA , or polymers , as well as liprotides . In addition, the process of nanodroplet formation is being addressed with Martini . To efficiently build such models, dedicated tools are available .
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