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Chem Phys Lipids. 1996 Jul 15;81(2):203-13.

Non-bilayer lipids and biological fusion intermediates.

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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.


Disparate biological fusion reactions and fusion of purely lipid bilayers are similarly influenced by 'non-bilayer' lipids (lipids which do not form lipid bilayers in water by themselves). Lipid composition of membranes affects biological fusion at a stage downstream of activation of fusion proteins and prior to fusion pore formation. These data suggest that actual merger of membrane lipid bilayers in different fusion reactions proceeds via the same pathway. The effects of non-bilayer lipids specifically correlate with their ability to bend lipid monolayers in different directions, and appear to be consistent with the specific hypothesis of membrane fusion suggesting that fusion proceeds through highly bent intermediates--stalks, local connections between contacting monolayers of fusing membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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