Visualization of Molecular Permeation into a Multi-compartment Phospholipid Vesicle

Ehud Neumann, Yang Sung Sohn, Sydney C. Povilaitis, Alfredo E. Cardenas, Ron Mittler, Assaf Friedler, Lauren J. Webb, Rachel Nechushtai, Ron Elber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Passive permeation of small molecules into vesicles with multiple compartments is a critical event in many chemical and biological processes. We consider the translocation of the peptide NAF-144-67 labeled with a fluorescent fluorescein dye across membranes of rhodamine-labeled 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) into liposomes with internal vesicles. Time-resolved microscopy revealed a sequential absorbance of the peptide in both the outer and inner micrometer vesicles that developed over a time period of minutes to hours, illustrating the spatial and temporal progress of the permeation. There is minimal perturbation of the membrane structure and no evidence for pore formation. On the basis of molecular dynamics simulations of NAF-144-67, we extended a local defect model to migration processes that include multiple compartments. The model captures the long residence time of the peptide within the membrane and the rate of permeation through the liposome and its internal compartments. Imaging experiments confirm the semi-quantitative description of the permeation of the model by activated diffusion and open the way for studies of more complex systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6349-6354
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number28
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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