Compartmental specificity of cellular membrane fusion encoded in SNARE proteins

Nature. 2000 Sep 14;407(6801):153-9. doi: 10.1038/35025000.


Membrane-enveloped vesicles travel among the compartments of the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, delivering their specific cargo to programmed locations by membrane fusion. The pairing 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Compartmentation*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Liposomes
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins
  • Qc-SNARE Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Liposomes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins
  • Qc-SNARE Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • SEC9 protein, S cerevisiae
  • SNARE Proteins
  • SSO1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins