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Title: Small interfering ribonucleic acid induces liquid-to-ripple phase transformation in a phospholipid membrane

Small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) molecules play a pivotal role in silencing gene expression via the RNA interference mechanism. A key limitation to the widespread implementation of siRNA therapeutics is the difficulty of delivering siRNA-based drugs to cells. Here, we examine changes in the structure and dynamics of a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer in the presence of a siRNA molecule and mechanical barriers to siRNA transfection in the bilayer. Our all-atom molecular dynamics simulation shows that siRNA induces a liquid crystalline-to-ripple phase transformation in the bilayer. The ripple phase consists of a major region of non-interdigitated and a minor region of interdigitated lipid molecules with an intervening kink. In the ripple phase, hydrocarbon chains of lipid molecules have large compressive stresses, which present a considerable barrier to siRNA transfection.
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Collaboratory for Advanced Computing and Simulations, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Computer Science, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0242 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22303541
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ATOMS; CHAINS; INTERFERENCE; LAYERS; MEMBRANES; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; MOLECULES; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; RNA; SIMULATION; STRESSES