Artificial stabilization of the fusion pore by intra-organelle styrene-maleic acid copolymers

27 July 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Styrene-maleic acid copolymers have become an advantageous detergent-free alternative for membrane protein isolation. Since their discovery, experimental membrane protein extraction and purification by keeping intact their lipid environment has become significantly easier. With the aim of identifying new applications of these interesting copolymers, their molecular binding and functioning mechanisms have recently been intense objects of study. In this work, we describe the use of styrene-maleic acid copolymers as an artificial tool to stabilize the fusion pore. We show that when these copolymers circumscribe the water channel that defines the fusion pore, they keep it from shrinking and closing. We describe how only intra-organelle copolymers have stabilizing capabilities while extra-organelle ones have negligible or even contrary effects on the fusion pore life-time.


styrene-maleic acid copolymers
fusion-pore stabilization
lipid bilayers
molecular dynamics

Supplementary materials

Suppplementary material for: Artificial stabilization of the fusion pore by intra-organelle styrene-maleic acid copolymers
Supplementary material includes: simulation repetitions; minimum distance measurements from nearest SMACs to the centre of the fusion pore; correlation between lipid mean squared displacements and SMAC:lipid contacts; plot averaged SMAC:lipid contacts per lipid species; correlation between radius of gyration and SMAC:lipid contacts; measurement of SMAC self-interactions; plots of density charge profiles along Z axis while the fusion pore is open; second-rank order parameter calculations along with tables S1, S2 and S3 listing bonds between beads; table S4 listing details of all simulations performed in this study.


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