Pinning Down Fusion Pores

Science  09 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5668, pp. 167l
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5668.167l

The fusion pore for exocytosis, which can be defined biophysically, can be modulated by synaptotagmin, a protein found on synaptic vesicles. However, the nature of the fusion pore itself remains unclear. It is not even clear if the fusion pore is composed of lipid or protein. Han et al. (p. 289) identify a specific plasma membrane protein, syntaxin, as a physical part of the fusion pore during Ca2+-dependent exocytosis from a rat neuroendocrine cell line. Mutations within the transmembrane segment of syntaxin altered both neurotransmitter flux through fusion pores and pore conductance.

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