UC Santa Barbara
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.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8238
© 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.
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