Counting the SNAREs needed for membrane fusion

J Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Aug;3(4):204-5. doi: 10.1093/jmcb/mjr004. Epub 2011 Apr 26.


SNARE proteins mediate most membrane fusion reactions in eukaryotic cells, and are thereby vital for many functions, including synaptic transmission, cell growth, and cytokinesis. However, until recently it was still unclear how many of these proteins are required to catalyze membrane fusion in vivo. In a recent Science paper, Mohrmann et al. (2010) elegantly show that in chromaffin cells, three SNARE complexes are required for the synchronous release of granules, whereas only a single SNARE complex is sufficient for overall release.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / chemistry
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromaffin Cells / cytology
  • Chromaffin Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Rats
  • SNARE Proteins / chemistry
  • SNARE Proteins / genetics
  • SNARE Proteins / metabolism*


  • SNARE Proteins
  • Calcium