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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1995 Aug;5(4):541-7.

Bending membranes to the task: structural intermediates in bilayer fusion.

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Laboratory of Theoretical and Physical Biology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1855, USA.


Merger of lipid bilayers plays a central role in diverse biological fusion reactions. Recent studies suggest that different membrane fusion systems, including fusion of purely lipid bilayers, involve formation of similar stalk-type intermediates--highly bent (net negative curvature) and transient lipidic connections between fusing membranes.

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