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Nat Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;14(9):906-8. doi: 10.1038/ncb2570.

Bending membranes.

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Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School and Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


It is widely assumed that peripheral membrane proteins induce intracellular membrane curvature by the asymmetric insertion of a protein segment into the lipid bilayer, or by imposing shape by adhesion of a curved protein domain to the membrane surface. Two papers now provide convincing evidence challenging these views. The first shows that specific assembly of a clathrin protein scaffold, coupled to the membrane, seems to be the most prevalent mechanism for bending a lipid bilayer in a cell. The second reports that membrane crowding, driven by protein-protein interactions, can also drive membrane bending, even in the absence of any protein insertion into the bilayer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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