European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 121–129

Stalk mechanism of vesicle fusion

Intermixing of aqueous contents
  • M. M. Kozlov
  • S. L. Leikin
  • L. V. Chernomordik
  • V. S. Markin
  • Y. A. Chizmadzhev
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00254765

Cite this article as:
Kozlov, M.M., Leikin, S.L., Chernomordik, L.V. et al. Eur Biophys J (1989) 17: 121. doi:10.1007/BF00254765
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Abstract

Å mechanism for rupture of a separating bilayer, resulting from vesicle monolayer fusion is investigated theoretically. The stalk mechanism of monolayer fusion, assuming the formation and expansion of a stalk between two interacting membranes is considered. The stalk evolution leads to formation of a separating bilayer and mechanical tension appearance in the system. This tension results in rupture of the separating bilayer and hydrophilic pore formation. Competition between the mechanical tension and hydrophilic pore energy defines the criteria of contacting bilayer rupture. The tension increases with an increase of the absolute value of the negative spontaneous curvature of the outer membrane monolayer, Kso. The pore edge energy decreases with an increase of the positive spontaneous curvature of the inner membrane monolayer, Ksi. The relations of spontaneous curvatures of outer and inner monolayers, leading to separating bilayer rupture, is calculated. It is demonstrated that his process is possible, provided spontaneous curvatures of membrane monolayers have opposite signs: Kso<0, Ksi<0. Experimental data concerning the fusion process are analysed.

Key words

Vesicle fusion stalk mechanism stalk evolution monolayer fusion trilaminar structure pore formation 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. M. Kozlov
    • 1
  • S. L. Leikin
    • 1
  • L. V. Chernomordik
    • 1
  • V. S. Markin
    • 1
  • Y. A. Chizmadzhev
    • 1
  1. 1.The A. N. Frumkin Institute of electrochemistryAcademy of Sciences of the USSRMoscowUSSR