Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Membrane fusion entails organelle docking and subsequent mixing of membrane bilayers and luminal compartments. We now present an in vitro assay of fusion, using yeast vacuoles bearing domains of either Fos or Jun fused to complementary halves of beta-lactamase. Upon fusion, these proteins associate to yield beta-lactamase activity. This assay complements the standard fusion assay (activation of pro-Pho8p in protease-deficient vacuoles by proteases from pho8Delta vacuoles). Both the beta-lactamase and pro-Pho8p activation assays of fusion show the same long kinetic delay between SNARE pairing and luminal compartment mixing. Lipid-mixing occurs rapidly after SNARE pairing but well before aqueous compartment mixing. These results support a model in which SNARE pairing leads to rapid hemifusion, followed by slow further lipid rearrangement and aqueous compartment mixing.
Jun, Youngsoo and Wickner, William, "Assays of Vacuole Fusion Resolve the Stages of Docking, Lipid Mixing, and Content Mixing" (2007). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 1432.