Thickness & Curvature
Analysis of membrane deformations as a result of embedded proteins in terms of lipid-protein interactions usually come secondary to the analysis
of individual interactions of proteins with lipids, and they are even less frequently visualized in detail.
The importance of the bulk lipid environment, however, is quite evident from the literature.
Using this application, we can visualize membrane thickness and curvature in great detail. The calculation method for the thickness and curvature profiles uses g_surf, a tool developed by our group and described here. As described in the paper, g_surf uses three interpolated grid-surfaces (upper, middle, and lower) from which thickness and curvature are calculated.
The application visualizes these results in an interactive format. You can visualize the results as either a point or surface mesh presentation.
Each has its own options and parameters which can be customized. We also show the position of embedded proteins as a point representation with a
coloring scheme that runs from black to red to pink to white. We do this to make it easy to distinguish between different parts of the protein.
The most important function of the application is that you can change between viewing the thickness profile, mean and gaussion curvatures of the membrane.
For more information, please see the Visualization Reference on the documenation pages.