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The mystery of the fusion pore

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.

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Figure 1: A lipidic fusion pore (center) might fit an 13-nm nanodisc (top) but not a 6-nm nanodisc (bottom).
Figure 2: Coarse-grain molecular dynamics simulation of SNARE-mediated nanodisc-membrane fusion.

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Acknowledgements

Support by the European Research Council (ERC) grant ADG 322699 (M.L.) and US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R21NS088253 (M.L.) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Manfred Lindau.

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Sharma, S., Lindau, M. The mystery of the fusion pore. Nat Struct Mol Biol 23, 5–6 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.3157

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