Separation of the osmotically driven fusion event from vesicle-planar membrane attachment in a model system for exocytosis

M. H. Akabas, F. S. Cohen, A. Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

We demonstrate that there are two experimentally distingishable steps in the fusion of phospholipid vesicles with planar bilayer membranes. In the first step, the vesicles form a stable, tightly bound pre-fusion state with the planar membrane; divalent cations (Ca++) are required for the formation of this state if the vesicular and/or planar membrane contain negatively charged lipids. In the second step, the actual fusion of vesicular and planar membranes occurs. The driving force for this step is the osmotic swelling of vesicles attached (in the pre-fusion state) to the planar membrane. We suggest that osmotic swelling of vesicles may also be crucial for biological fusion and exocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1071
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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