Lipid membranes are structural components of cell surfaces and intracellular organelles. Alterations in lipid membrane shape are accompanied by numerous cellular functions, including endocytosis, intracellular transport, and cell migration. Proteins containing Bin–Amphiphysin–Rvs (BAR) domains (BAR proteins) are unique, because their structures correspond to the membrane curvature, that is, the shape of the lipid membrane. BAR proteins present at high concentration determine the shape of the membrane, because BAR domain oligomers function as scaffolds that mould the membrane. BAR proteins co-operate with various molecular and non-molecular factors. The molecular factors include cytoskeletal proteins such as the regulators of actin filaments and the membrane scission protein dynamin. Lipid composition, including saturated or unsaturated fatty acid tails of phospholipids, also affects the ability of BAR proteins to mould the membrane. Non-molecular factors include the external physical forces applied to the membrane, such as tension and friction. In this mini-review, we will discuss how the BAR proteins orchestrate membrane dynamics together with various molecular and non-molecular factors.

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