FUS1 regulates the opening and expansion of fusion pores between mating yeast

Scott Nolan, Ann E. Cowan, Dennis E. Koppel, Hui Jin, Eric Grote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mating yeast cells provide a genetically accessible system for the study of cell fusion. The dynamics of fusion pores between yeast cells were analyzed by following the exchange of fluorescent markers between fusion partners. Upon plasma membrane fusion, cytoplasmic GFP and DsRed diffuse between cells at rates proportional to the size of the fusion pore. GFP permeance measurements reveal that a typical fusion pore opens with a burst and then gradually expands. In some mating pairs, a sudden increase in GFP permeance was found, consistent with the opening of a second pore. In contrast, other fusion pores closed after permitting a limited amount of cytoplasmic exchange. Deletion of FUS1 from both mating partners caused a >10-fold reduction in the initial permeance and expansion rate of the fusion pore. Although fusl mating pairs also have a defect in degrading the cell wall that separates mating partners before plasma membrane fusion, other cell fusion mutants with cell wall remodeling defects had more modest effects on fusion pore permeance. Karyogamy is delayed by >1 h in fus1 mating pairs, possibly as a consequence of retarded fusion pore expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2439-2450
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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