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Publication Detail
Transitions in filament geometry drive ESCRT-III-mediated membrane remodelling and fission
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Harker-Kirschneck L, Baum B, Šarić A
  • Publication date:
    25/02/2019
  • Status:
    Published
Abstract
ESCRT-III is an evolutionarily conserved membrane remodeling machinery that, with the Vps4 ATPase, forms filaments able to cut biological membranes from the cytosolic side. This activity of ESCRT-III is essential for the final stage of cell division in archaea and in many eukaryotes, the formation of vesicles, the creation of exosomes, the release of viruses such as HIV-1 and Ebola, and for the repair and sealing of cellular membranes. While there has been recent rapid progress in describing the biochemical and cell biology details of different ESCRT-III functions, we lack an understanding of the physical mechanism involved in ESCRT-III-mediated membrane remodelling. Here, through the development of coarse-grained molecular dynamic simulations, we present a minimal model that captures the ability of ESCRT-III to induce experimentally reported cases of ESCRT-III driven membrane sculpting, including the formation of cones and tubules, and membrane scission. This model suggests a universal physical mechanism of action, that differs from that of other cytoskeletal elements, whereby a change in the twist of membrane bound ESCRT-III filaments drives transitions between a flat spiral and a 3D helix to induce membrane deformation and scission. We expect the mechanistic principles revealed here to be useful in manipulating ESCRT-III-driven processes in cells and in guiding the engineering of synthetic membrane-sculpting systems.
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