Membrane contact sites enable interorganelle communication by positioning organelles in close proximity using molecular "tethers." With a growing understanding of the importance of contact sites, the hunt for new contact sites and their tethers is in full swing. Determining just what is a tether has proven challenging. Here, we aim to delineate guidelines that define the prerequisites for categorizing a protein as a tether. Setting this gold standard now, while groups from different disciplines are beginning to explore membrane contact sites, will enable efficient cooperation in the growing field and help to realize a great collaborative opportunity to boost its development.
Keywords: E-Syt; ERMES; NVJ; OSBP; VAP; contact site; lipid transfer protein; membrane fusion; molecular tether; vCLAMP.
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