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Nature. 2007 May 24;447(7143):461-4.

Aggregation and vesiculation of membrane proteins by curvature-mediated interactions.

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1
Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany.

Abstract

Membrane remodelling plays an important role in cellular tasks such as endocytosis, vesiculation and protein sorting, and in the biogenesis of organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum or the Golgi apparatus. It is well established that the remodelling process is aided by specialized proteins that can sense as well as create membrane curvature, and trigger tubulation when added to synthetic liposomes. Because the energy needed for such large-scale changes in membrane geometry significantly exceeds the binding energy between individual proteins and between protein and membrane, cooperative action is essential. It has recently been suggested that curvature-mediated attractive interactions could aid cooperation and complement the effects of specific binding events on membrane remodelling. But it is difficult to experimentally isolate curvature-mediated interactions from direct attractions between proteins. Moreover, approximate theories predict repulsion between isotropically curving proteins. Here we use coarse-grained membrane simulations to show that curvature-inducing model proteins adsorbed on lipid bilayer membranes can experience attractive interactions that arise purely as a result of membrane curvature. We find that once a minimal local bending is realized, the effect robustly drives protein cluster formation and subsequent transformation into vesicles with radii that correlate with the local curvature imprint. Owing to its universal nature, curvature-mediated attraction can operate even between proteins lacking any specific interactions, such as newly synthesized and still immature membrane proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum.

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PMID:
17522680
DOI:
10.1038/nature05840
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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