Principles of membrane tethering and fusion in endosome and lysosome biogenesis

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2014 Aug;29:61-6. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2014 May 17.


Endosomes and lysosomes receive cargo via vesicular carriers that arrive along multiple trafficking routes. On both organelles, tethering proteins have been identified that interact specifically with Rab5 on endosomes and Rab7 on late endosomes/lysosomes and that facilitate the SNARE-driven membrane fusion. Even though the structure and stoichiometry of the involved proteins and protein complexes differ strongly, they may operate by similar principles. Within this review, we will provide insights into their common functions and discuss the open questions in the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Fusion*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport