Fusion of phospholipid vesicles with planar phospholipid bilayer membranes: I. Discharge of Vesicular Contents across the Planar Membrane

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Abstract

Multilamellar phospholipid vesicles are introduced into the as compartment on one side of a planar phospholipid bilayer membrane. The vesicles contain a water-soluble fluorescent dye trapped in the aqueous phases between the lamellae. If a vesicle containing n lamellae fuses with a planar membrane, an n-I lamellar vesicle should be discharged into the opposite trans compartment, where it would appear as a discernible fluorescent particle. Thus, fusion events can be assayed by counting the number of fluorescent particles appearing in the trans compartment. In the absence of divalent cation, fusion does not occur, even after vesicles have been in the cis compartment for 40 min. When CaCl2 is introduced into the cis compartment to a concentration of ≤20 mM, fusion occurs within the next 20 min; it generally ceases thereafter because of vesicle aggregation in the cis compartment. With approximately 3 × l08 vesicles/cm 3 in the cis compartment, about 25-50 fusion events occur following CaCl2 addition. The discharge of vesicular contents across the planar membrane is the most convincing evidence of vesicle-membrane fusion and serves as a model for that ubiquitous biological phenomenon--exocytosis. © 1980, Rockefeller University Press., All rights reserved.

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Zimmerberg, J., Cohen, F. S., & Finkelstein, A. (1980). Fusion of phospholipid vesicles with planar phospholipid bilayer membranes: I. Discharge of Vesicular Contents across the Planar Membrane. Journal of General Physiology, 75(3), 241–250. https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.75.3.241

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