Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Real-time intermembrane force measurements and imaging of lipid domain morphology during hemifusion

  • Author(s): Lee, DW
  • Kristiansen, K
  • Donaldson, SH
  • Cadirov, N
  • Banquy, X
  • Israelachvili, JN
  • et al.

© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Membrane fusion is the core process in membrane trafficking and is essential for cellular transport of proteins and other biomacromolecules. During protein-mediated membrane fusion, membrane proteins are often excluded from the membrane-membrane contact, indicating that local structural transformations in lipid domains play a major role. However, the rearrangements of lipid domains during fusion have not been thoroughly examined. Here using a newly developed Fluorescence Surface Forces Apparatus (FL-SFA), migration of liquid-disordered clusters and depletion of liquid-ordered domains at the membrane-membrane contact are imaged in real time during hemifusion of model lipid membranes, together with simultaneous force-distance and lipid membrane thickness measurements. The load and contact time-dependent hemifusion results show that the domain rearrangements decrease the energy barrier to fusion, illustrating the significance of dynamic domain transformations in membrane fusion processes. Importantly, the FL-SFA can unambiguously correlate interaction forces and in situ imaging in many dynamic interfacial systems.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View