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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2008 Jul;15(7):675-83. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.1455.

Mechanics of membrane fusion.

Author information

1
Section on Membrane Biology, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1855, USA. chernoml@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

Diverse membrane fusion reactions in biology involve close contact between two lipid bilayers, followed by the local distortion of the individual bilayers and reformation into a single, merged membrane. We consider the structures and energies of the fusion intermediates identified in experimental and theoretical work on protein-free lipid bilayers. On the basis of this analysis, we then discuss the conserved fusion-through-hemifusion pathway of merger between biological membranes and propose that the entire progression, from the close juxtaposition of membrane bilayers to the expansion of a fusion pore, is controlled by protein-generated membrane stresses.

PMID:
18596814
PMCID:
PMC2548310
DOI:
10.1038/nsmb.1455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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