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To fuse, membranes must bend. The energy of each lipid monolayer with respect to bending is minimized at the spontaneous curvature of the monolayer. Two lipids known to promote opposite spontaneous curvatures, lysophosphatidylcholine and arachidonic acid, were added to different sides of planar phospholipid membranes. Lysophosphatidylcholine added to the(More)
The amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer's toxicity has undergone a resurgence with increasing evidence that it is not amyloid fibrils but a smaller oligomeric species that produces the deleterious results. In this paper we address the mechanism of this toxicity. Only oligomers increase the conductance of lipid bilayers and patch-clamped mammalian cells,(More)
Release of proteins through the outer mitochondrial membrane can be a critical step in apoptosis, and the localization of apoptosis-regulating Bcl-2 family members there suggests they control this process. We used planar phospholipid membranes to test the effect of full-length Bax and Bcl-xL synthesized in vitro and native Bax purified from bovine(More)
For the act of membrane fusion, there are two competing, mutually exclusive molecular models that differ in the structure of the initial pore, the pathway for ionic continuity between formerly separated volumes. Because biological "fusion pores" can be as small as ionic channels or gap junctions, one model posits a proteinaceous initial fusion pore. Because(More)
The peptide fragment of the carboxy-terminal region of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmembrane protein (gp41) has been implicated in T-cell death. This positively charged, amphipathic helix (amino acids 828 to 848) of the envelope protein is located within virions or cytoplasm. We studied the interaction of the isolated, synthetic amphipathic(More)
A frameshifted region of the influenza A virus PB1 gene encodes a novel protein, termed PB1-F2, a mitochondrial protein that can induce cell death. Many proapoptotic proteins are believed to act at the mitochondrial outer membrane to form an apoptotic pore with lipids. We studied the interaction of isolated, synthetic PB1-F2 (sPB1-F2) peptide with planar(More)
A two-dimensional (2D) model of lipid bilayers was developed and used to investigate a possible role of membrane lateral tension in membrane fusion. We found that an increase of lateral tension in contacting monolayers of 2D analogs of liposomes and planar membranes could cause not only hemifusion, but also complete fusion when internal pressure is(More)
Two representatives of a new class of cationic lipids were found to have high pore-forming activity in planar bilayer membranes. These molecules, called BHHD-TADC and BHTD-TADC, have qualitatively similar effects on phospholipid membranes. Addition of 2.5-5 micro M of either of them to the membrane bathing solutions resulted in formation of long-lived(More)
Hemifusion, the linkage of contacting lipid monolayers of two membranes before the opening of a fusion pore, is hypothesized to proceed through the formation of a stalk intermediate, a local and strongly bent connection between membranes. When the monolayers' propensity to bend does not support the stalk (e.g., as it is when lysophosphatidylcholine is(More)
Calcium-induced fusion of liposomes was studied with a view to understand the role of membrane tension in this process. Lipid mixing due to fusion was monitored by following fluorescence of rhodamine-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine incorporated into liposomal membrane at a self-quenching concentration. The extent of lipid mixing was found to depend on the rate of(More)