Diacylglycerol induces fusion of nuclear envelope membrane precursor vesicles

Teresa Barona, Richard D. Byrne, Trevor R. Pettitt, Michael J.O. Wakelam, Banafshe Larijani, Dominic L. Poccia

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40 Citations (SciVal)


Purified membrane vesicles isolated from sea urchin eggs form nuclear envelopes around sperm nuclei following GTP hydrolysis in the presence of cytosol. A low density subfraction of these vesicles (MV1), highly enriched in phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns), is required for nuclear envelope formation. Membrane fusion of MV1 with a second fraction that contributes most of the nuclear envelope can be initiated without GTP by an exogenous bacterial PtdIns-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) which hydrolyzes PtdIns to form diacylglycerides and inositol 1-phosphate. This PI-PLC hydrolyzes a subset of sea urchin membrane vesicle PtdIns into diglycerides enriched in long chain, polyunsaturated species as revealed by a novel liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Large unilammelar vesicles (LUVs) enriched in PtdIns can substitute for MV1 in PI-PLC induced nuclear envelope formation. Moreover, MV1 prehydrolyzed with PI-PLC and washed to remove inositols leads to spontaneous nuclear envelope formation with MV2 without further PI-PLC treatment. LUVs enriched in diacylglycerol mimic prehydrolyzed MV1. These results indicate that production of membrane-destabilizing diglycerides in membranes enriched in PtdIns may facilitate membrane fusion in a natural membrane system and suggest that MV1, which binds only to two places on the sperm nucleus, may initiate fusion locally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41171-41177
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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