Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 Sep;59(9):1478-90.

Membrane fusion: the process and its energy suppliers.

Author information

Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao, Spain.


Membrane fusion constitutes a pivotal process in eukaryotic cell physiology. Both specialized proteins and membrane lipids play key roles in fusion. Here, our current understanding ofthe mechanism of membrane fusion is reviewed. The focus is on the relatively simple and well-understood proteinaceous fusion machinery of enveloped viruses and the physical properties of lipids that appear to be of great relevance for fusion progression. Recent observations suggest that viral fusion proteins use packed conformational energy and bilayer-destabilizing domains to (i) bring participating membranes into intimate contact, (ii) merge proximal lipid monolayers through highly curved stalk/hemifusion intermediates, and (iii) generate a lipid-containing fusion pore, thereby terminating the fusion process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center