Membrane structure and assembly

Definition

Membrane structure and assembly describes the composition and formation of membranes, which are lipid bilayers embedded with proteins.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Release of neurotransmitters occurs by opening of a fusion pore in a manner thought to be mediated by SNARE proteins, but whether the fusion pore is a lipidic or a proteinaceous structure is controversial. A new study using very small nanodiscs shows that it is both.

    • Satyan Sharma
    •  & Manfred Lindau
  • News and Views |

    SecY and Sec61 translocons mediate the orderly insertion of transmembrane segments into the lipid bilayer during membrane-protein biogenesis. Reporting in this issue, Ismail et al. now use a SecM-based molecular force sensor to show that the translocon exerts a pulling force on the nascent chain that is capable of mechanical action at two distinct stages of the insertion process.

    • Soo Jung Kim
    •  & William R Skach
  • News and Views |

    Single-molecule observations reveal that lipid- and protein-based interactions jointly contribute to the interactions among glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins in membranes. Understanding these interactions will help to refine long-evolving (and still debated) models of 'raft' domains in biological membranes.

    • John R Silvius
  • News and Views |

    The extent to which ligand-free GPCRs exist in quasi-stable 'precoupled' complexes with G proteins in vivo is uncertain. New research, using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), reveals a structural requirement for and functional consequences of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor–Gq protein preassembly.

    • R A John Challiss
    •  & Jürgen Wess