The plasma membrane surrounds every single cell and essentially shapes cell life by separating the interior from the external environment. Thus, maintenance of cell membrane integrity is essential to prevent death caused by disruption of the plasma membrane. To counteract plasma membrane injuries, eukaryotic cells have developed efficient repair tools that depend on Ca2+- and phospholipid-binding annexin proteins. Upon membrane damage, annexin family members are activated by a Ca2+ influx, enabling them to quickly bind at the damaged membrane and facilitate wound healing. Our recent studies, based on interdisciplinary research synergy across molecular cell biology, experimental membrane physics, and computational simulations show that annexins have additional biophysical functions in the repair response besides enabling membrane fusion. Annexins possess different membrane-shaping properties, allowing for a tailored response that involves rapid bending, constriction, and fusion of membrane edges for resealing. Moreover, some annexins have high affinity for highly curved membranes that appear at free edges near rupture sites, a property that might accelerate their recruitment for rapid repair. Here, we discuss the mechanisms of annexin-mediated membrane shaping and curvature sensing in the light of our interdisciplinary approach to study plasma membrane repair.
Keywords: annexin; cell rupture; interdisciplinary research; membrane curvature; membrane curvature sensing; membrane damage; membrane shaping; plasma membrane repair.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Annexins Bend Wound Edges during Plasma Membrane Repair.Curr Med Chem. 2019 Jan 21. doi: 10.2174/0929867326666190121121143. Online ahead of print. Curr Med Chem. 2019. PMID: 30663559
Annexin A4 and A6 induce membrane curvature and constriction during cell membrane repair.Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 20;8(1):1623. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01743-6. Nat Commun. 2017. PMID: 29158488 Free PMC article.
Annexins: players of single cell wound healing and regeneration.Commun Integr Biol. 2019 Oct 13;12(1):162-165. doi: 10.1080/19420889.2019.1676139. eCollection 2019. Commun Integr Biol. 2019. PMID: 31666917 Free PMC article.
Annexins are instrumental for efficient plasma membrane repair in cancer cells.Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2015 Sep;45:32-8. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.10.028. Epub 2015 Oct 20. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2015. PMID: 26498035 Review.
Annexins in plasma membrane repair.Biol Chem. 2016 Oct 1;397(10):961-9. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2016-0171. Biol Chem. 2016. PMID: 27341560 Review.