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Coiled-coils on lipid membranes: a new perspective on membrane fusion

Promotor: J.G.E.M. Fraaije, Co-Promotor: A. Kros

M. Rabe
19 december 2014
Thesis in Leiden Repository

For decades a large amount of research has dealt with membrane interactions of peptides and proteins as well as peptide-peptide interactions to understand the mechanisms of essential biological processes such as protein-driven vesicle budding and fission, cell penetration and lysis by peptides, and of course protein-driven membrane fusion. The advance of these fields, in combination with recent progress in cell biology, has inspired chemists to mimic these biological processes with simple model systems. However, it becomes apparent that these model systems are more complex than initially thought and the lessons that were learned from natural systems can also be applied here. The work reported in this thesis applied and extended classical methods for the study of peptide-peptide and peptide-membrane interactions to study the properties of the fusogenic coiled-coil forming lipopeptides in different membrane model systems or in solution. Hypotheses were constructed and tested based on the current biochemical and biophysical models of natural membrane fusion. Taken together, the results reported here led to a new perspective on lipopeptide mediated vesicle fusion.

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