The role of membrane microdomains in membrane fusion
Principal investigator: Söllner
Regulated exocytosis is mediated by protein-controlled lipid rearrangements resulting in the physical coalescence of two lipid bilayers. Our goal is to understand the underlying sequence of reactions and molecular mechanisms starting with Rab3/Rim-mediated synaptic vesicle tethering, proceeding with lipid-controlled syntaxin1 clustering, t-SNARE assembly, synaptotagmin/complexin-mediated fusion clamping, and culminating in Ca2+-triggered membrane merger. Reconstitution assays, biochemical and imaging methods will reveal the stage-specific interplay between lipids and proteins.