Identification of a minimal core of the synaptic SNARE complex sufficient for reversible assembly and disassembly

  • Fasshauer D
  • Eliason W
  • Brünger A
 et al. 
  • 110


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 184


    Citations of this article.


Assembly of the three neuronal membrane proteins synaptobrevin, syntaxin, and SNAP-25 is thought to be one of the key steps in mediating exocytosis of synaptic vesicles. In vivo and in vitro, these proteins form a tight complex. Assembly is associated with a large increase in alpha-helical content, suggesting that major structural and conformational changes are associated with the assembly reaction. Limited proteolysis by trypsin, chymotrypsin, and proteinase K of the ternary complex formed from recombinant proteins lacking their membrane anchors revealed a SDS-resistant minimal core. The components of this core complex were purified and characterized by N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. They include a slightly shortened synaptobrevin fragment, C- and N-terminal fragments of SNAP-25, and a C-terminal fragment of syntaxin that is slightly larger than the previously characterized H3 domain. Recombinant proteins corresponding to these fragments are sufficient for assembly and disassembly. In addition, each of the two SNAP-25 fragments can individually form complexes with syntaxin and synaptobrevin, suggesting that they both contribute to the assembly of the SNARE complex. Upon complex assembly, a large increase in alpha-helical content is observed along with a significantly increased melting temperature (Tm). Like the full-length complex, the minimal complex tends to form an oligomeric species; global analysis of equilibrium ultracentrifugation data suggests a monomer-trimer equilibrium exists. These conserved biophysical properties may thus be of fundamental importance in the mechanism of membrane fusion.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free