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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2015 Aug;33:61-7. doi: 10.1016/j.sbi.2015.07.010. Epub 2015 Aug 15.

Membrane tension and membrane fusion.

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
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. Electronic address: chernoml@mail.nih.gov.

Abstract

Diverse cell biological processes that involve shaping and remodeling of cell membranes are regulated by membrane lateral tension. Here we focus on the role of tension in driving membrane fusion. We discuss the physics of membrane tension, forces that can generate the tension in plasma membrane of a cell, and the hypothesis that tension powers expansion of membrane fusion pores in late stages of cell-to-cell and exocytotic fusion. We propose that fusion pore expansion can require unusually large membrane tensions or, alternatively, low line tensions of the pore resulting from accumulation in the pore rim of membrane-bending proteins. Increase of the inter-membrane distance facilitates the reaction.

PMID:
26282924
PMCID:
PMC4641764
DOI:
10.1016/j.sbi.2015.07.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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