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Issue 29, 2013

The physics of membrane tubes: soft templates for studying cellular membranes

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Abstract

Lipid membranes under shear or tension can form surprising, cylindrical structures called membrane tubes with diameters varying between a few hundreds of nanometers to a few tens of nanometers. These structures can be formed in multiple ways, and provide a clear signature of membrane fluidity and elasticity. In vivo, tubular structures are used during intracellular transport to exchange material between compartments, and their formation depends upon the same principles as in vitro. Recent studies of the specific physico-chemical properties of membrane tubes have shed light on how tubular structures are formed in vivo. In addition, the controlled formation of such membrane tubes in vitro has proven to be an elegant way to study many dynamic processes during membrane trafficking.

Graphical abstract: The physics of membrane tubes: soft templates for studying cellular membranes

Article information


Submitted
19 Feb 2013
Accepted
16 May 2013
First published
20 May 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 6726-6736
Article type
Review Article

The physics of membrane tubes: soft templates for studying cellular membranes

A. Roux, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 6726 DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50514F

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