At the junction of SNARE and SM protein function

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2010 Aug;22(4):488-95. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 May 12.


Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins bind to and function with soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) at each vesicle fusion site in the cell. The purpose for these interactions is becoming clearer, as what had been interpreted as functional divergence between SM proteins acting at different vesicle trafficking steps, or in specialized cells, is giving way to more recent evidence for common functions among all SM proteins. What is emerging is a picture of SM proteins acting not merely as SNARE regulators, but also as central components of the membrane fusion apparatus. The available data suggest sequential models that describe how the soluble SM protein might first regulate SNARE complex assembly and then cooperate with SNAREs to stimulate membrane fusion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Models, Biological
  • Munc18 Proteins / chemistry
  • Munc18 Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins / chemistry
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins / metabolism
  • SNARE Proteins / metabolism*


  • Munc18 Proteins
  • Qa-SNARE Proteins
  • SNARE Proteins