How proteins produce cellular membrane curvature

Joshua Zimmerberg*, Michael M. Kozlov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Biological membranes exhibit various function-related shapes, and the mechanism by which these shapes are created is largely unclear. Here, we classify possible curvature-generating mechanisms that are provided by lipids that constitute the membrane bilayer and by proteins that interact with, or are embedded in, the membrane. We describe membrane elastic properties in order to formulate the structural and energetic requirements of proteins and lipids that would enable them to work together to generate the membrane shapes seen during intracellular trafficking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


FundersFunder number
US–Israel Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Bloom's Syndrome Foundation
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentZ01HD001409
European Commission
Israel Science Foundation


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