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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Kinetics of Ca2+-induced fusion of cardiolipin-phosphatidylcholine vesicles: correlation between vesicle aggregation, bilayer destabilization, and fusion.

We have investigated the kinetics of Ca2+-induced aggregation and fusion of large unilamellar vesicles composed of an equimolar mixture of bovine heart cardiolipin and dioleoylphosphatidylcholine. Mixing of bilayer lipids was monitored with an assay based on resonance energy transfer (RET) and mixing of aqueous vesicle contents with the Tb/dipicolinate assay. The results obtained with either assay were analyzed in terms of a mass action kinetic model, providing separate rate constants for vesicle aggregation and for the fusion reaction proper. At different Ca2+ concentrations, either at 25 degrees C or at 37 degrees C, aggregation rate constants derived from the data obtained with the RET assay were the same as those derived from the Tb/dipicolinate data, indicating that mixing of bilayer lipids occurred only during vesicle aggregation events that resulted in mixing of aqueous contents as well. At 25 degrees C, identical fusion rate constants were obtained with either assay, indicating that at this temperature the probability of lipid mixing and that of aqueous contents mixing, occurring after vesicle aggregation, were the same. The fusion rate constants for the RET assay increased more steeply with increasing temperature than the fusion rate constants derived from the Tb/dipicolinate data. As a result, at 37 degrees C the tendency of the vesicles, after aggregation, to mix lipids was slightly higher than their tendency to mix aqueous contents. The aggregation rate constants increased steeply with Ca2+ concentrations increasing in a narrow range (9.5-11 mM), indicating that, in addition to a Ca2+-dependent charge neutralization on the vesicle surface, structural changes in the lipid bilayer are involved in the aggregation process.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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