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Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;15(9):1019-27. doi: 10.1038/ncb2832.

A cost-benefit analysis of the physical mechanisms of membrane curvature.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

Abstract

Many cellular membrane-bound structures exhibit distinct curvature that is driven by the physical properties of their lipid and protein constituents. Here we review how cells manipulate and control this curvature in the context of dynamic events such as vesicle-mediated membrane traffic. Lipids and cargo proteins each contribute energy barriers that must be overcome during vesicle formation. In contrast, protein coats and their associated accessory proteins drive membrane bending using a variety of interdependent physical mechanisms. We survey the energy costs and drivers involved in membrane curvature, and draw a contrast between the stochastic contributions of molecular crowding and the deterministic assembly of protein coats. These basic principles also apply to other cellular examples of membrane bending events, including important disease-related problems such as viral egress.

PMID:
23999615
PMCID:
PMC3813008
DOI:
10.1038/ncb2832
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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