Intermembrane Docking Reactions Are Regulated by Membrane Curvature

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

Without internal affiliation

  • Author: Kunding, Andreas Hjarne

    University of Copenhagen

  • Author: Mortensen, Michael W.

    University of Copenhagen

  • Author: Christensen, Sune M.

    University of Copenhagen

  • Author: Bhatia, Vikram K.

    University of Copenhagen

  • Author: Makarov, Ivan

    University of Copenhagen

  • Author: Metzler, Ralf

    Technical University of Munich

  • Author: Stamou, Dimitrios

    University of Copenhagen

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The polymorphism of eukaryotic cellular membranes is a tightly regulated and well-conserved phenotype. Recent data have revealed important regulatory roles of membrane curvature on the spatio-temporal localization of proteins and in membrane fusion. Here we quantified the influence of membrane curvature on the efficiency of intermembrane docking reactions. Using fluorescence microscopy, we monitored the docking of single vesicle–vesicle pairs of different diameter (30–200 nm) and therefore curvature, as mediated by neuronal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) and streptavidin-biotin. Surprisingly, the intermembrane docking efficiency exhibited an ~30–60 fold enhancement as a function of curvature. In comparison, synaptotagmin and calcium accelerate SNARE-mediated fusion in vitro by a factor of 2–10. To explain this finding, we formulated a biophysical model. On the basis of our findings, we propose that membrane curvature can regulate intermembrane tethering reactions and consequently any downstream process, including the fusion of vesicles and possibly viruses with their target membranes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Pages (from-to)2693-2703
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 8
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