Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 50,150 bioRxiv papers from 233,741 authors.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is composed of interconnected membrane sheets and tubules. Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed densely packed, rapidly moving ER tubules, highlighting the importance of revisiting classical views of ER structure with high spatial resolution in living cells. Using live-cell Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy, we show highly dynamic, subdiffraction-sized holes in ER sheets. Holes coexist with uniform sheet regions and are distinct from tubular ER structures. The curvature-stabilizing reticulon protein Rtn4 localizes to these holes and the ER luminal tether Climp63 controls their diameter and mobility. Analytical modeling demonstrates that holes in ER sheets can serve as reservoirs for curvature-stabilizing proteins to support ER tubule extension and retraction, thus providing an explanation for how the ER locally alters its morphology on fast time-scales.
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