Compartmental specificity of cellular membrane fusion encoded in SNARE proteins

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Membrane-enveloped vesicles travel among the compartments of the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, delivering their specific cargo to programmed locations by membrane fusion. The palring of vesicle v-SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) with target membrane t-SNAREs has a central role in intracellular membrane fusion. We have tested all of the potential v-SNAREs encoded in the yeast genome for their capacity to trigger fusion by partnering with t-SNAREs that mark the Golgi, the vacuole and the plasma membrane. Here we find that, to a marked degree, the pattern of membrane flow in the cell is encoded and recapitulated by its isolated SNARE proteins, as predicted by the SNARE hypothesis.




McNew, J. A., Parlatl, F., Fukuda, R., Johnston, R. J., Paz, K., Paumet, F., … Rothman, J. E. (2000). Compartmental specificity of cellular membrane fusion encoded in SNARE proteins. Nature, 407(6801), 153–159.

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