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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2014 Aug;29:53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Mechanisms shaping cell membranes.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel. Electronic address: michk@post.tau.ac.il.
2
Cell and Developmental Biology Programme, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), 08003 Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
3
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK.
4
Section on Membrane Biology, Program of Physical Biology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States.
5
Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute and Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands.
6
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK. Electronic address: hmm@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

Membranes of intracellular organelles are characterized by large curvatures with radii of the order of 10-30nm. While, generally, membrane curvature can be a consequence of any asymmetry between the membrane monolayers, generation of large curvatures requires the action of mechanisms based on specialized proteins. Here we discuss the three most relevant classes of such mechanisms with emphasis on the physical requirements for proteins to be effective in generation of membrane curvature. We provide new quantitative estimates of membrane bending by shallow hydrophobic insertions and compare the efficiency of the insertion mechanism with those of the protein scaffolding and crowding mechanisms.

PMID:
24747171
PMCID:
PMC4180517
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2014.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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