Electrostatic properties of the dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine bilayer in water have been investigated on the basis of molecular dynamics calculations in the isothermal-isobaric ensemble. Analysis of the long-time trajectory of partial charges on the atoms showed that polarization of the total system has an anisotropic fluctuation; the component along the bilayer normal was 1 order of magnitude smaller than that parallel to the bilayer plane, the polarization of lipid being canceled out mostly by that of water along the bilayer normal. A positive electrostatic potential was observed inside the membrane. The potential was found to vary in two steps across the interface; the first gradient comes from the preferential orientation of the ester group, and the second one is attributed to asymmetrical solvation of water around the phosphate group. Slower reorientation of the dipole projected on the bilayer normal was found than that on the bilayer plane. Dynamics of water near the headgroup was strongly influenced by the hydrogen bonding with the phosphate group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry