Over the last decade the volume Membrane Fusion. edited by Poste and Nicholson, has probably served as one of the major sources of review in- formation on fusion in membrane systems. Since its publication much new information has been collected. New methods of inducing fusion have been invented or discovered, and new applications for fusion have been found. The need for an up-to-date monograph that covers and in- tegrates these subjects, reviews established material, and rationalizes and integrates the old and the new is thus obvious. This book is the product of efforts to meet this need. Most of the current work in the field of membrane fusion takes place within the context of intact or modified cells. Hence this book emphasizes the plasma membrane. Each chapter is either a review, a report, or a short historical overview, depending, respectively, on whether the subject is large in scope and has a long history, or the subject is in such an early stage of development that most of what is known is still in the hands of a relatively small number of investigators and is best covered in report form.
Fusion in Cell Membranes.- Virus-Induced Cell Fusion.- Probing the Function of Viral Fusion Proteins with Synthetic Peptides.- The Roles of Ca2+Dependent Membrane-Binding Proteins in the Regulation and Mechanism of Exocytosis.- Synchronous Exocytosis in Paramecium Cells.- Role of Metalloendoprotease in the Fusion of Biological Membranes.- Control of Membrane Fusion in Polyethylene Glycol-Resistant Cell Mutants.- Fusion-Permissive Protoplasts.- Experimental Cell Fusion with Selected Siphonocladalean Algal Cells.- Fusion in Model Membranes.- Membrane-Membrane Interactions via Intermediates in Lamellar-to-Inverted Hexagonal Phase Transitions.- Lipid Vesicles.- Fusion of Phospholipid Vesicles Induced by Divalent Cations and Protons.- Protein Modulation of Liposome Fusion.- Acid-Induced Fusion of Liposomes.- The Mechanism of Polyethylene Glycol-Induced Fusion in Model Membranes.- Physicochemical Factors Underlying Lipid Membrane Fusion.- Pressure as a Probe of Vesicle Fusion.- New Membrane Fusion Methods.- Electrofusion.- The Electrofusion Mechanism in Erythrocyte Ghosts.- Laser-Induced Cell Fusion.- Applications of Membrane Fusion.- The Early History of Mammalian Somatic Cell Fusion.- Bioselective Cell-Cell Fusion for Antibody Production.- Micromanipulation and Elastic Response of Electrically Fused Red Cells.- Microinjection of Culture Cells via Fusion with Loaded Erythrocytes.- Electrofusion and Plant Somatic Hybridization.- Chemically Induced Fusion of Plant Protoplasts.- Nongenetic Techniques for Isolating Fusion Products between Different Cell Types.