Membrane Tension Inhibits Rapid and Slow Endocytosis in Secretory Cells

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Endocytosis generates spherical or ellipsoid-like vesicles from the plasma membrane, which recycles vesicles that fuse with the plasma member during exocytosis in neurons and endocrine secretory cells. Although tension in the plasma membrane is generally considered to be an important factor in regulating endocytosis, whether membrane tension inhibits or facilitates endocytosis remains debated in the endocytosis field, and has been rarely studied for vesicular endocytosis in secretory cells. Here we report that increasing membrane tension by adjusting osmolarity inhibited both the rapid (a few seconds) and slow (tens of seconds) endocytosis in calyx-type nerve terminals containing conventional active zones and in neuroendocrine chromaffin cells. We address the mechanism of this phenomenon by computational modeling of the energy barrier that the system must overcome at the stage of membrane budding by an assembling protein coat. We show that this barrier grows with increasing tension, which may slow down or prevent membrane budding. These results suggest that in live secretory cells, membrane tension exerts inhibitory action on endocytosis.




Wu, X. S., Elias, S., Liu, H., Heureaux, J., Wen, P. J., Liu, A. P., … Wu, L. G. (2017). Membrane Tension Inhibits Rapid and Slow Endocytosis in Secretory Cells. Biophysical Journal, 113(11), 2406–2414.

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