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Coiled-Coil Fusion Peptide Fulfils Dual Role in Membrane Fusion

November 2016. Combination of NMR and CD experiments with MD simulations revealed the dual role of the model fusion peptide K in aiding membrane fusion. Next to the before known function of peptide K to form a coiled-coil complex with peptide E and thus to link the fusion vesicles, the membrane-disturbing roles of peptide K were discovered. Peptide K inserts shallowly in the membrane and induces a positive curvature and increases lipid tail protrusions, as shown in this collaborative work between researchers of the Universities in Leiden, Strasbourg, and Erlangen. Thereby,  the membrane fusogenicity is locally increased at the fusion site.

Citation:M. Rabe, C. Aisenbrey , K. Pluhackova , V. de Wert , A. L. Boyle , D. F. Bruggeman , S. A. Kirsch , R.A. Böckmann, A. Kros, J. Raap, B. Bechinger. A Coiled-Coil Peptide Shaping Lipid Bilayers upon Fusion. Biophys. J11(10):2162-2175  (2016) http://www.cell.com/biophysj/abstract/S0006-3495(16)30937-7