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Biochemistry. 1986 Nov 4;25(22):6978-87.

Divalent cation induced fusion and lipid lateral segregation in phosphatidylcholine-phosphatidic acid vesicles.

Abstract

The interactions of unilamellar vesicles containing phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidic acid (PA) in the presence of calcium and magnesium were examined by fluorometric assays of vesicle lipid mixing, contents mixing, and contents leakage and by spray-freezing freeze-fracture electron microscopy. These results were correlated with calorimetric and fluorometric measurements of divalent cation induced lateral segregation of lipids in these vesicles under comparable conditions. PA-PC vesicles in the presence of calcium show a rapid but limited intermixing of vesicle lipids and contents, the extent of which increases as the vesicle size decreases or the PA content increases. Calcium produces massive aggregation and efficient mixing of the contents of vesicles containing high proportions of dioleoyl-PA or egg PA, but vesicle coalescence in the latter case is followed rapidly by vesicle collapse and massive leakage of contents. The effects of magnesium are similar for vesicles of very high PA content. However, in the presence of magnesium, vesicles containing lower amounts of PA exhibit "hemifusion", a mode of interaction in which vesicles aggregate and mix approximately 50% of their lipids, apparently representing the lipids of the outer monolayer of each vesicle, without significant mixing of vesicle contents or collapse of the vesicles. Fluorometric measurements of lipid lateral segregation demonstrate that lateral redistribution of lipids in PA-PC vesicles begins at submillimolar concentrations of divalent cations and shows no abrupt change at the "threshold" divalent cation concentration, above which coalescence of vesicles is observed. By correlating calorimetric and fluorometric measurements of lipid lateral segregation and mixing of vesicle components, we can demonstrate that lipid segregation is at least strongly correlated with calcium-promoted coalescence of PA-PC vesicles and is essential to the magnesium-promoted interactions of vesicles of low PA contents.

PMID:
3801406
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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