Membrane tethering in intracellular transport

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1999 Aug;11(4):453-9. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(99)80065-9.


Studies of various membrane trafficking steps over the past year indicate that membranes are tethered together prior to the interaction of v-SNAREs and t-SNAREs across the membrane junction. The tethering proteins identified to date are quite large, being either fibrous proteins or multimeric protein complexes. The tethering factors employed at different steps are evolutionarily unrelated, yet their function seems to be closely tied to the more highly conserved Rab GTPases. Tethering factors may collaborate with Rabs and SNAREs to generate targeting specificity in the secretory pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Endosomes
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Vacuoles
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins