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Phosphatidylethanol counteracts calcium-induced membrane fusion but promotes proton-induced fusion

, : Phosphatidylethanol counteracts calcium-induced membrane fusion but promotes proton-induced fusion. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 899(2): 258-264

The susceptibility of phosphatidylethanol-containing lipid vesicles towards Ca2+- and proton-induced fusion has been investigated, using a system of interacting vesicles. The results show that phosphatidylethanol-rich vesicles are quite resistant to Ca2+-induced fusion while being highly sensitive to proton-induced fusion. Inclusion of phosphatidylethanol was also found to promote and inhibit, respectively, the proton-induced and Ca2+-induced fusion of bilayer vesicles containing also phosphatidylethanolamine and either phosphatidylserine or phosphatidic acid. Thus, phosphatidylethanol affected Ca2+- and proton-induced fusion in opposite directions, in contrast to the naturally occurring anionic phospholipids phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol, which affect the sensitivity to Ca2+- and H+-induced fusion in the same direction. However, the fusion competence of phosphatidylethanol vesicles in response to both Ca2+ and H+ was inversely related to the apparent thickness of the polar headgroup layer, determined by using lectin-glycolipid interaction as a steric probe, as previously found for vesicles containing naturally occurring anionic phospholipids.


PMID: 3580368

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