American Chemical Society
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Membrane Remodeling Processes Induced by Phospholipase Action

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posted on 2014-04-29, 00:00 authored by Susana Rocha, Herlinde De Keersmaecker, James A. Hutchison, Karen Vanhoorelbeke, Johan A. Martens, Johan Hofkens, Hiroshi Uji-i
Important cellular events such as division require drastic changes in the shape of the membrane. These remodeling processes can be triggered by the binding of specific proteins or by changes in membrane composition and are linked to phospholipid metabolism for which dedicated enzymes, named phospholipases, are responsible. Here wide-field fluorescence microscopy is used to visualize shape changes induced by the action of phospholipase A1 on dye-labeled supported membranes of POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoly-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine). Time-lapse imaging demonstrates that layers either shrink and disappear or fold and collapse into vesicles. These vesicles can undergo further transformations such as budding, tubulation, and pearling within 5 min of formation. Using dye-labeled phospholipases, we can monitor the presence of the enzyme at specific positions on the membrane as the shape transformations occur. Furthermore, incorporating the products of hydrolysis into POPC membranes is shown to induce transformations similar to those observed for enzyme action. The results suggest that phospholipase-mediated hydrolysis plays an important role in membrane transformations by altering the membrane composition, and a model is proposed for membrane curvature based on the presence and shape of hydrolysis products.