Fusion of phospholipid vesicles with planar phospholipid bilayer membranes. I. Discharge of vesicular contents across the planar membrane

J. Zimmerberg, F. S. Cohen, A. Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Multilamellar phospholipid vesicles are introduced into the cis compartment on one side of a planar phospholipid bilayer membane. The vesicles contain a water-soluble fluorescent dye trapped in the aqueous phases between the lamellae. If a vesicle containing n lamellae fuses with a planar membrane, an n-1 lamellar vesicle should be discharged into the opposite trans compartment, where it would appear as a discernible fluorescent particle. Thus fusion events can be assayed by counting the number of fluorescent particles appearing in the trans compartment. In the absence of divalent cation, fusion does not occur, even after vesicles have been in the cis compartment for 40 min. When CaCl2 is introduced into the cis compartment to a concentration of ≥ 20 mM, fusion occurs within the next 20 min; it generally ceases thereafter because of vesicle aggregation in the cis compartment. With approximately 3 x 108 vesicles/cm in the cis compartment, about 25-50 fusion events occur following CaCl2 addition. The discharge of vesicular contents across the planar membrane is the most convincing evidence of vesicle-membrane fusion and serves as a model for that ubiquitous biological phenomenon-exocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-250
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Volume75
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980

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Phospholipids
Biological Phenomena
Membrane Fusion
Membranes
Divalent Cations
Exocytosis
Fluorescent Dyes
Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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Fusion of phospholipid vesicles with planar phospholipid bilayer membranes. I. Discharge of vesicular contents across the planar membrane. / Zimmerberg, J.; Cohen, F. S.; Finkelstein, A.

In: Journal of General Physiology, Vol. 75, No. 3, 1980, p. 241-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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