In a living cell membrane-bound compartments are continuously either separated or united through fusion reactions, and literally thousands of such reactions take place every minute. The formation of membrane vesicles from pre-existing membranes, and their fusion with specific acceptor membranes, constitute a prerequisite for the transport of most impermeant molecules and macromolecules into the cell by endocytosis, out of the cell by exocytosis, and between the cellular organelles (Palade, 1975; Silverstein, 1978; Evered & Collins, 1982). Less frequent, but equally crucial, are fusion events in fertilization, cell division, polykaryon formation, enucleation, etc. (for reviews see Poste & Nicholson, 1978). Although a great deal is known about the properties and consequences of individual forms of membrane fusion in cellular systems, and about fusion in artificial lipid membranes, the molecular basis for the reactions remain largely unclear.