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The homotypic fusion of sea urchin egg cortical vesicles (CV) is a system in which to correlate the biochemistry and physiology of membrane fusion. Homologues of vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP), syntaxin, and SNAP-25 were identified in CV membranes. A VAMP and syntaxin immunoreactive band at a higher apparent molecular mass (approximately 70 kDa)(More)
One of the major challenges in management of spinal cord injury (SCI) is that the assessment of injury severity is often imprecise. Identification of reliable, easily quantifiable biomarkers that delineate the severity of the initial injury and that have prognostic value for the degree of functional recovery would significantly aid the clinician in the(More)
The process of regulated exocytosis is defined by the Ca2+-triggered fusion of two apposed membranes, enabling the release of vesicular contents. This fusion step involves a number of energetically complex steps and requires both protein and lipid membrane components. The role of cholesterol has been investigated using isolated release-ready native cortical(More)
Regulated exocytosis of neurotransmitter- and hormone-containing vesicles underpins neuronal and hormonal communication and relies on a well-orchestrated series of molecular interactions. This in part involves the upstream formation of a complex of SNAREs and associated proteins leading to the eventual fusion of the vesicle membrane with the plasma(More)
Cortical vesicles (CV) possess components critical to the mechanism of exocytosis. The homotypic fusion of CV centrifuged or settled into contact has a sigmoidal Ca2+ activity curve comparable to exocytosis (CV-PM fusion). Here we show that Sr2+ and Ba2+ also trigger CV-CV fusion, and agents affecting different steps of exocytotic fusion block Ca2+, Sr2+,(More)
For over a decade SNARE hypotheses have been proposed to explain the mechanism of membrane fusion, yet the field still lacks sufficient evidence to conclusively identify the minimal components of native fusion. Consequently, debate concerning the postulated role(s) of SNAREs in membrane fusion continues. The focus of this review is to revisit original(More)
The cholesterol chelating agent, methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD), alters synaptic function in many systems. At crayfish neuromuscular junctions, MβCD is reported to reduce excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) by impairing impulse propagation to synaptic terminals, and to have no postsynaptic effects. We examined the degree to which physiological effects of(More)
BACKGROUND The analysis of hydrophobic membrane proteins by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis has long been hampered by the concept of inherent difficulty due to solubility issues. We have optimized extraction protocols by varying the detergent composition of the solubilization buffer with a variety of commercially available non-ionic and zwitterionic(More)
Complexes of specific presynaptic proteins have been hypothesized to drive or catalyze the membrane fusion steps of exocytosis. Here we use a stage-specific preparation to test the roles of SNAREs, synaptotagmin, and SNARE-binding proteins in the mechanism of Ca2+-triggered membrane fusion. Excess exogenous proteins, sufficient to block SNARE interactions,(More)