Flow linear dichroism of protein–membrane systems

Matthew R. Hicks, Sarah R. Dennison, Adewale Olamoyesan, Alison Rodger

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Linear dichroism (LD) is the differential absorbance of light polarized parallel and perpendicular to an orientation direction. Any oriented sample will show a signal in its electronic as well as vibrational transitions. Model membrane small unilamellar vesicles or liposomes provide an oriented system when they are subject to shear flow in a Couette or other type of flow cell. Anything, including peptides and proteins, that is bound to the liposome also gives an LD signal whereas unbound analytes are invisible. Flow LD is the ideal technique for determining the orientation of different chromophores with respect to the membrane normal. To illustrate the power of the method, data for diphenyl hexatriene, fluorene, antimicrobial peptides (aurein 2.5 and gramicidin), are considered as well as another common chromophore, fluorene, often used to increase the hydrophobicity and hence membrane binding of peptides. How LD can be used both for geometry, structure analysis and probing kinetic processes is considered. Kinetic analysis usually involves identifying binding (appearance of an LD signal), insertion (sign change), often followed by loss of signal, if the inserted protein or peptide disrupts the membrane.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProtein-ligand interactions
    Subtitle of host publicationmethods and applications
    EditorsTina Daviter, Christopher M. Johnson, Stephen H. McLaughlin, Mark A. Williams
    Place of PublicationNew York, NY
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781071677975
    ISBN (Print)9781071611968
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Publication series

    NameMethods in Molecular Biology
    ISSN (Print)1064-3745
    ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


    • Linear dichroism
    • Membrane bilayers
    • Liposomes
    • Electronic spectroscopy
    • Infrared spectroscopy


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