Published: 07-12-2016 15:30 | Updated: 01-03-2017 15:51

Actin dynamics provides membrane tension to merge fusing vesicles

Membrane vesicles are utilized to transport different types of cargo molecules in a cell. Once destination is reached, the vesicles are fusing with the cellular membrane and deliver their cargo. It has been widely accepted that the membrane vesicle collapses into the plasma membrane once a fusion pore is formed and that this step does not require any energy consumption.

A recent paper in Nature Communications shows that the fusion event may occur via pushing the vesicle membrane through the fusion pore into the plasma membrane, which is controlled by the cellular membrane tension. The article shows that actin cytoskeleton and ATP regulate such fusion event in neuroendocrine cells and neuronal synapses.

– This further suggests that vesicle fusion in cells is sensitive to alterations in ATP levels and disruptions of the actin cytoskeleton dynamics that occurs in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, says Oleg Shupliakov, professor and co-author of the study.


"Actin dynamics provides membrane tension to merge fusing vesicles into the plasma membrane."

PJ Wen, S Grenklo, G Arpino, X Tan, HS Liao, J Heureaux, SY Peng, HC Chiang, E Hamid, WD Zhao, W Shin, T Näreoja, E Evergren, Y Jin, R Karlsson, SN Ebert, A Jin, AP Liu, Shupliakov O, LG Wu

Nature Communications, publicerad online 31 augusti 2016, doi: 10.1038/ncomms12604.