Coping with the inevitable: How cells repair a torn surface membrane

Paul L. Mcneil, Mark Terasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Disruption of the cell plasma membrane is a commonplace occurrence in many mechanically challenging, biological environments. 'Resealing' is the emergency response required for cell survival. Resealing is triggered by Ca2+ entering through the disruption; this causes vesicles present in cytoplasm underlying the disruption site to fuse rapidly with one another (homotypically) and also with the adjacent plasma membrane (heterotypically/exocytotically). The large vesicular products of homotypic fusion are added as a reparative 'patch' across the disruption, when its resealing requires membrane replacement. The simultaneous activation of the local cytoskeleton supports these membrane fusion events. Resealing is clearly a complex and dynamic cell adaptation, and, and as we emphasize here, may be an evolutionarily primitive one that arose shortly after the ancestral eukaryote lost its protective cell wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E124-E129
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Coping with the inevitable: How cells repair a torn surface membrane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this