Biophysics and Physicobiology
Online ISSN : 2189-4779
Regular Article
Forced diffusion of water molecules through aquaporin-5 biomembrane; a molecular dynamics study
Marzieh AlishahiReza Kamali
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2018 Volume 15 Pages 255-262


Aquaporins (AQPs) are protein channels located across the cell membrane which conduct the water permeation through the cell membrane. Different types of AQPs exist in human organs and play vital roles, as the malfunction of such protein membranes can lead to life-threatening conditions. A specific type of AQP, identified as AQP5, is particularly essential to the generation of saliva, tears and pulmonary secretions. We have adopted Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation to analyze the water permeation and diffusion in AQP5 structure in a 0.5 microsecond simulation time window. The MD numerical simulation shows the water permeability of the human AQP5 is in the nominal range for other members of human aquaporins family. In addition, we have considered the effect of the osmotic water diffusion and the diffusion occurred by pressure gradient on the protein membrane. The water permeability grows monotonically as the applied pressure on the solvent increases. Furthermore, the forced diffusion increases the minimum radius of Selectivity Filter (SF) region of region AQP5 up to 20% and consequently the permeability coefficients enhance enormously compared to osmotic self-diffusion in AQP5 tetramer. Finally, it is revealed that the MD simulation of human AQP5 provides useful insights into the mechanisms of water regulation through alveolar cells under the different physical conditions; osmotic self-diffusion and forced diffusion condition.

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