Apr 6, 2020

Redistribution of cholesterol from vesicle to plasmalemma controls fusion pore geometry

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
B. RituperRobert Zorec


Eukaryotic vesicles fuse with the plasmalemma to form the fusion pore, previously considered to be unstable with widening of the pore diameter. Recent studies established that the pore diameter is stable, reflecting balanced forces of widening and closure. Proteins are considered key regulators of the fusion pore, whereas the role of membrane lipids remains unclear. Super-resolution microscopy revealed that lactotroph secretory vesicles discharge cholesterol after stimulation of exocytosis; subsequently, vesicle cholesterol redistributes to the outer leaflet of the plasmalemma. Cholesterol depletion in lactotrophs and astrocytes evokes release of vesicle hormone, indicating that cholesterol constricts the fusion pore. A new model of cholesterol-dependent fusion pore diameter regulation is proposed. High-resolution measurements of fusion pore conductance confirmed that the fusion pore widens with cholesterol depletion and constricts with cholesterol enrichment. In fibroblasts lacking the Npc1 protein, in which cholesterol accumulates in vesicles, the fusion pore is narrower than in controls, showing that cholesterol regulates fusion pore geometry.

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Nonlinear Dynamics
Drosophila melanogaster
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