Predicting the distribution, conservation, and functions of SNAREs and related proteins in fungi

Fungal Genet Biol. 2002 Jun;36(1):1-21. doi: 10.1016/S1087-1845(02)00017-8.


Hyphal tip growth, the hallmark of the fungi, requires highly polarized and localized exocytosis, but how this requirement is met is unknown. Members of conserved protein families called SNAREs and Rabs mediate vesicle trafficking and fusion at virtually every step of the intracellular pathway in all examined eukaryotes. We have searched the available nearly complete fungal genomes, established the presence or absence of members of the SNARE and Rab families in these genomes, and predicted their evolutionary relationships to one another. Comparisons with the extensively studied Saccharomyces cerevisiae indicate that, in general, most of the members of these families (including those involved in mediating exocytosis) are conserved. The presence of exceptional SNAREs and Rabs in some fungi that are not conserved in S. cerevisiae may be indicative of specialized steps that occur in these fungi. The implications of these findings for current tip growth models are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Endocytosis
  • Exocytosis
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fungi / genetics
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Fungi / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins