Mechanosensitivity of Membrane Budding and Trafficking

  • Lionel ForetEmail author


Intracellular compartments continually exchange material transported by small vesicles or tubules, which are formed in the membrane of the donor compartments and eventually fuse with the membrane of the receptor compartments. The formation and fission of a membrane bud giving rise to a new object and the fusion are controlled to some extent by the mechanical properties of the membranes, in particular their tension. In this chapter, we review the different mechanisms of vesicle and tubule budding and analyze the influence of the membrane tension on these processes using basic considerations of thermodynamics and mechanics. In any case, vesicle and tubule production can be impaired at high enough tension. Next, we discuss the influence of tension on membrane fusion, which is a less understood problem. Finally, since the release/absorption of vesicles or tubules should affect the tension of the donor/receptor, we speculate about the possible regulatory role of the membrane tension on intracellular trafficking and compartments stability.


Intracellular trafficking Biological membrane Budding Fusion Tension 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole Normale Supérieure, CNRS, UPMC Univ Paris 06Laboratoire de Physique StatistiqueParisFrance

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