There is a growing pool of evidence showing the biological importance of membrane nanotubes (with diameter of a few tens of nanometers and length upto tens of microns) in various intra- and intercellular transport processes. These ubiquitous structures are often formed from flat membranes by highly localized forces generated by either the pulling of motor proteins or the pushing of polymerizing cytoskeletal filaments. In this chapter we give an overview of the theory of membrane nanotubes, their biological relevance, and the most recent experiments designed for the study of their formation and dynamics. We also discuss the effect of membrane proteins or lipid composition on the shape of the tubes, and the effect of antagonistic motor proteins on tube formation.

Additional Metadata
Publisher Cham: Springer
Editor L. Heiner , A. Mansson
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/3-540-49522-3_7
Citation
Derényi, I, Koster, G, van Duijn, M.M, Czövek, A, Dogterom, M, & Prost, J. (2007). Membrane nanotubes. In L Heiner & A Mansson (Eds.), Controlled nanoscale motion (pp. 141–159). Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/3-540-49522-3_7