Computational Modeling of Realistic Cell Membranes

Cell membranes contain a large variety of lipid types and are crowded with proteins, endowing them with the plasticity needed to fulfill their key roles in cell functioning.

The compositional complexity of cellular membranes gives rise to a heterogeneous lateral organization, which is still poorly understood. Computational models, in particular, molecular dynamics simulations and related techniques, have provided important insight into the organizational principles of cell membranes over the past decades. Now, we are witnessing a transition from simulations of simpler membrane models to multicomponent systems, culminating in realistic models of an increasing variety of cell types and organelles. This open access review chapter might become inspirational to all glycoscientists facing the complexity and the essential role played by glycolipids as ubiquitous membrane constituents.