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1.  Peroxisomes Are Required for Lipid Metabolism and Muscle Function in Drosophila melanogaster 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100213.
Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles that perform lipid and reactive oxygen species metabolism. Defects in peroxisome biogenesis cause peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs). The most severe PBD, Zellweger syndrome, is characterized in part by neuronal dysfunction, craniofacial malformations, and low muscle tone (hypotonia). These devastating diseases lack effective therapies and the development of animal models may reveal new drug targets. We have generated Drosophila mutants with impaired peroxisome biogenesis by disrupting the early peroxin gene pex3, which participates in budding of pre-peroxisomes from the ER and peroxisomal membrane protein localization. pex3 deletion mutants lack detectible peroxisomes and die before or during pupariation. At earlier stages of development, larvae lacking Pex3 display reduced size and impaired lipid metabolism. Selective loss of peroxisomes in muscles impairs muscle function and results in flightless animals. Although, hypotonia in PBD patients is thought to be a secondary effect of neuronal dysfunction, our results suggest that peroxisome loss directly affects muscle physiology, possibly by disrupting energy metabolism. Understanding the role of peroxisomes in Drosophila physiology, specifically in muscle cells may reveal novel aspects of PBD etiology.
PMCID: PMC4063865  PMID: 24945818
2.  The synaptobrevin homologue Snc2p recruits the exocyst to secretory vesicles by binding to Sec6p 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2013;202(3):509-526.
The exocyst is recruited to secretory vesicles by the combinatorial signals of Sec4-GTP and the Snc proteins to confer both specificity and directionality to vesicular traffic.
A screen for mutations that affect the recruitment of the exocyst to secretory vesicles identified genes encoding clathrin and proteins that associate or colocalize with clathrin at sites of endocytosis. However, no significant colocalization of the exocyst with clathrin was seen, arguing against a direct role in exocyst recruitment. Rather, these components are needed to recycle the exocytic vesicle SNAREs Snc1p and Snc2p from the plasma membrane into new secretory vesicles where they act to recruit the exocyst. We observe a direct interaction between the exocyst subunit Sec6p and the latter half of the SNARE motif of Snc2p. An snc2 mutation that specifically disrupts this interaction led to exocyst mislocalization and a block in exocytosis in vivo without affecting liposome fusion in vitro. Overexpression of Sec4p partially suppressed the exocyst localization defects of mutations in clathrin and clathrin-associated components. We propose that the exocyst is recruited to secretory vesicles by the combinatorial signals of Sec4-GTP and the Snc proteins. This could help to confer both specificity and directionality to vesicular traffic.
PMCID: PMC3734085  PMID: 23897890
3.  An inventory of peroxisomal proteins and pathways in Drosophila melanogaster 
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)  2012;13(10):1378-1392.
Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles housing a variety of essential biochemical pathways. Peroxisome dysfunction causes a spectrum of human diseases known as peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBD). While much is known regarding the mechanism of peroxisome biogenesis, it is still unclear how peroxisome dysfunction leads to the disease state. Several recent studies have shown that mutations in Drosophila peroxin genes cause phenotypes similar to those seen in humans with PBDs suggesting that Drosophila might be a useful system to model PBDs. We have analyzed the proteome of Drosophila to identify the proteins involved in peroxisomal biogenesis and homeostasis as well as metabolic enzymes that function within the organelle. The subcellular localization of five of these predicted peroxisomal proteins was confirmed. Similar to C. elegans, Drosophila appears to only utilize the peroxisome targeting signal (PTS) type 1 system for matrix protein import. This work will further our understanding of peroxisomes in Drosophila and add to the usefulness of this emerging model system.
PMCID: PMC3443258  PMID: 22758915
peroxisomes; drosophila; β-oxidation; α-oxidation; ether lipids
4.  Munc18b is an essential gene in mice whose expression is limiting for secretion by airway epithelial and mast cells 
Biochemical Journal  2012;446(Pt 3):383-394.
Airway mucin secretion and MC (mast cell) degranulation must be tightly controlled for homoeostasis of the lungs and immune system respectively. We found the exocytic protein Munc18b to be highly expressed in mouse airway epithelial cells and MCs, and localized to the apical pole of airway secretory cells. To address its functions, we created a mouse with a severely hypomorphic Munc18b allele such that protein expression in heterozygotes was reduced by ~50%. Homozygous mutant mice were not viable, but heterozygotes showed a ~50% reduction in stimulated release of mucin from epithelial cells and granule contents from MCs. The defect in MCs affected only regulated secretion and not constitutive or transporter-mediated secretion. The severity of passive cutaneous anaphylaxis was also reduced by ~50%, showing that reduction of Munc18b expression results in an attenuation of physiological responses dependent on MC degranulation. The Munc18b promoter is controlled by INR (initiator), Sp1 (specificity protein 1), Ets, CRE (cAMP-response element), GRE (glucocorticoid-response element), GATA and E-box elements in airway epithelial cells; however, protein levels did not change during mucous metaplasia induced by allergic inflammation. Taken together, the results of the present study identify Munc18b as an essential gene that is a limiting component of the exocytic machinery of epithelial cells and MCs.
PMCID: PMC3430001  PMID: 22694344
exocytosis; mast cell; mucin; mucus; Munc18; secretion; AB-PAS, Alcian Blue/periodic acid/Schiff reagent; bHLH, basic helix–loop–helix; CCSP, Clara cell secretory protein; Clca3, chloride channel, calcium-activated, family member 3; CRE, cAMP-response element; DNP, 2,4-dinitrophenol; FBS, fetal bovine serum; FcϵRIα, high-affinity IgE receptor, α subunit; FRT, flippase recognition target; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GRE, glucocorticoid-response element; HA, haemagglutinin; HSA, human serum albumin; HRP, horseradish peroxidase; IL-3, interleukin-3; INR, initiator; ISH, in situ hybridization; MC, mast cell; mBMMC, mouse bone-marrow-derived MC; mClca3, mouse Clca3; MFI, mean fluorescent intensity; mtCC, mouse transformed Clara cell; NK, natural killer; OCT, optimal cutting temperature compound; PAFS, periodic acid/fluorescent Schiff reagent; PBST, PBS containing 0.05% Tween 20; PGD2, prostaglandin D2; PGK, phosphoglucokinase; SCF, stem cell factor; SM, Sec1/Munc18; SNAP, soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein; SNARE, SNAP receptor; Stxbp2, syntaxin-binding protein 2; TK, thymidine kinase; TNFα, tumour necrosis factor α; WT, wild-type; YFP, yellow fluorescent protein
5.  Balancing ER dynamics: shaping, bending, severing, and mending membranes 
Current opinion in cell biology  2011;23(4):435-442.
The endoplasmic reticulum is a multifunctional organelle composed of functionally and morphologically distinct domains. These include the relatively planar nuclear envelope and the peripheral ER, a network of sheet-like cisternae interconnected with tubules that spread throughout the cytoplasm. The ER is highly dynamic and the shape of its domains as well as their relative content are in constant flux. The multiple forces driving these morphological changes depend on the interaction between the ER and microtubules, membrane fusion and fission events and the action of proteins capable of actively shaping membranes. The interplay between these forces is ultimately responsible for the dynamic morphology of the ER, which in turn is crucial for properly executing the varied functions of this organelle.
PMCID: PMC3148315  PMID: 21641197
6.  SNARE proteins are required for macroautophagy 
Cell  2011;146(2):290-302.
Macroautophagy mediates the degradation of long-lived proteins and organelles via the de novo formation of double-membrane autophagosomes that sequester cytoplasm and deliver it to the vacuole/lysosome; however, relatively little is known about autophagosome biogenesis. Atg8, a phosphatidylethanolamine-conjugated protein, was previously proposed to function in autophagosome membrane expansion, based on the observation that it mediates liposome tethering and hemifusion in vitro. We show here that with physiological concentrations of phosphatidylethanolamine, Atg8 does not act as a fusogen. Rather, we provide evidence for the involvement of exocytic Q/t-SNAREs in autophagosome formation, acting in the recruitment of key autophagy components to the site of autophagosome formation, and in regulating the organization of Atg9 into tubulovesicular clusters. Additionally, we found that the endosomal Q/t-SNARE Tlg2 and the R/v-SNAREs Sec22 and Ykt6 interact with Sso1-Sec9, and are required for normal Atg9 transport. Thus, multiple SNARE-mediated fusion events are likely to be involved in autophagosome biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3143362  PMID: 21784249
Atg9; fusion; lysosome; membrane biogenesis; protein targeting; secretory pathway; stress; tubulovesicular clusters; vacuole; yeast
7.  Fusing a lasting relationship between ER tubules 
Trends in cell biology  2011;21(7):416-423.
Atlastin is an integral membrane GTPase localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In vitro and in vivo analyses indicate that atlastin is a membrane fusogen capable of driving membrane fusion, suggesting a role in ER structure and maintenance. Interestingly, mutations in the human atlastin-1 gene, SPG3A, cause a form of autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). The etiology of HSP is unclear but two predominant forms of the disorder are caused by mutant proteins that affect ER structure, formation, and maintenance in motor neurons. In this review, we describe what is known about the molecular mechanism of atlastin function and its potential role in HSP. Greater understanding of the function of atlastin and associated proteins should lend significant insight into normal ER biogenesis and maintenance, as well as the pathology of disease.
PMCID: PMC3128651  PMID: 21550242
Previous studies have demonstrated that ribbon synapses in the retina do not contain the t-SNARE (target-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) syntaxin 1A that is found in conventional synapses of the nervous system. In contrast, ribbon synapses of the retina contain the related isoform syntaxin 3. In addition to its localization in ribbon synapses, syntaxin 3 is also found in non-neuronal cells, where it has been implicated in the trafficking of transport vesicles to the apical plasma membrane of polarized cells. The syntaxin 3 gene codes for four different splice forms, syntaxin 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. We demonstrate here using analysis of EST databases, RT-PCR, in situ hybridization and Northern blot analysis that cells in the mouse retina only express syntaxin 3B. In contrast non-neuronal tissues, such as kidney express only syntaxin 3A. The two major syntaxin isoforms (3A and 3B) have an identical N-terminal domain but differ in the C-terminal half of the SNARE domain and the C-terminal transmembrane domain. These two domains are thought to be directly involved in synaptic vesicle fusion. The interaction of syntaxin 1A and syntaxin 3B with other synaptic proteins was examined. We found that both proteins bind Munc18/N-sec1 with similar affinity. In contrast, syntaxin 3B had a much lower binding affinity for the t-SNARE SNAP-25 compared to that of syntaxin1A. Using an in vitro fusion assay we could demonstrate that vesicles containing syntaxin 3B and SNAP-25 could fuse with vesicles containing synaptobrevin2/VAMP2, demonstrating that syntaxin 3B can function as a t-SNARE.
PMCID: PMC2893228  PMID: 18683220
vesicle fusion; SNAP-25; Synaptobrevin; VAMP; splicing; isoform
9.  Binding interactions control SNARE specificity in vivo 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;183(6):1089-1100.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two SNAP25 paralogues, Sec9 and Spo20, which mediate vesicle fusion at the plasma membrane and the prospore membrane, respectively. Fusion at the prospore membrane is sensitive to perturbation of the central ionic layer of the SNARE complex. Mutation of the central glutamine of the t-SNARE Sso1 impaired sporulation, but does not affect vegetative growth. Suppression of the sporulation defect of an sso1 mutant requires expression of a chimeric form of Spo20 carrying the SNARE helices of Sec9. Mutation of two residues in one SNARE domain of Spo20 to match those in Sec9 created a form of Spo20 that restores sporulation in the presence of the sso1 mutant and can replace SEC9 in vegetative cells. This mutant form of Spo20 displayed enhanced activity in in vitro fusion assays, as well as tighter binding to Sso1 and Snc2. These results demonstrate that differences within the SNARE helices can discriminate between closely related SNAREs for function in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2600744  PMID: 19064671
10.  Munc18a Scaffolds SNARE Assembly to Promote Membrane Fusion 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(12):5422-5434.
Munc18a is an SM protein required for SNARE-mediated fusion. The molecular details of how Munc18a acts to enhance neurosecretion have remained elusive. Here, we use in vitro fusion assays to characterize how specific interactions between Munc18a and the neuronal SNAREs enhance the rate and extent of fusion. We show that Munc18a interacts directly and functionally with the preassembled t-SNARE complex. Analysis of Munc18a point mutations indicates that Munc18a interacts with helix C of the Syntaxin1a NRD in the t-SNARE complex. Replacement of the t-SNARE SNAP25b with yeast Sec9c had little effect, suggesting that Munc18a has minimal contact with SNAP25b within the t-SNARE complex. A chimeric Syntaxin built of the Syntaxin1a NRD and the H3 domain of yeast Sso1p and paired with Sec9c eliminated stimulation of fusion, suggesting that Munc18a/Syntaxin1a H3 domain contacts are important. Additionally, a Syntaxin1A mutant lacking a flexible linker region that allows NRD movement abolished stimulation of fusion. These experiments suggest that Munc18a binds to the Syntaxin1a NRD and H3 domain within the assembled t-SNARE complex, positioning them for productive VAMP2 binding. In this capacity, Munc18a serves as a platform for trans-SNARE complex assembly that facilitates efficient SNARE-mediated membrane fusion.
PMCID: PMC2592651  PMID: 18829865
11.  Negative Regulation of Syntaxin4/SNAP-23/VAMP2-Mediated Membrane Fusion by Munc18c In Vitro 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(12):e4074.
Translocation of the facilitative glucose transporter GLUT4 from an intracellular store to the plasma membrane is responsible for the increased rate of glucose transport into fat and muscle cells in response to insulin. This represents a specialised form of regulated membrane trafficking. Intracellular membrane traffic is subject to multiple levels of regulation by conserved families of proteins in all eukaryotic cells. Notably, all intracellular fusion events require SNARE proteins and Sec1p/Munc18 family members. Fusion of GLUT4-containing vesicles with the plasma membrane of insulin-sensitive cells involves the SM protein Munc18c, and is regulated by the formation of syntaxin 4/SNAP23/VAMP2 SNARE complexes.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Here we have used biochemical approaches to characterise the interaction(s) of Munc18c with its cognate SNARE proteins and to examine the role of Munc18c in regulating liposome fusion catalysed by syntaxin 4/SNAP23/VAMP2 SNARE complex formation. We demonstrate that Munc18c makes contacts with both t- and v-SNARE proteins of this complex, and directly inhibits bilayer fusion mediated by the syntaxin 4/SNAP23/VAMP2 SNARE complex.
Our reductionist approach has enabled us to ascertain a direct inhibitory role for Munc18c in regulating membrane fusion mediated by syntaxin 4/SNAP23/VAMP2 SNARE complex formation. It is important to note that two different SM proteins have recently been shown to stimulate liposome fusion mediated by their cognate SNARE complexes. Given the structural similarities between SM proteins, it seems unlikely that different members of this family perform opposing regulatory functions. Hence, our findings indicate that Munc18c requires a further level of regulation in order to stimulate SNARE-mediated membrane fusion.
PMCID: PMC2605266  PMID: 19116655
12.  An intramolecular t-SNARE complex functions in vivo without the syntaxin NH2-terminal regulatory domain 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;172(2):295-307.
Membrane fusion in the secretory pathway is mediated by SNAREs (located on the vesicle membrane [v-SNARE] and the target membrane [t-SNARE]). In all cases examined, t-SNARE function is provided as a three-helix bundle complex containing three ∼70–amino acid SNARE motifs. One SNARE motif is provided by a syntaxin family member (the t-SNARE heavy chain), and the other two helices are contributed by additional t-SNARE light chains. The syntaxin family is the most conformationally dynamic group of SNAREs and appears to be the major focus of SNARE regulation. An NH2-terminal region of plasma membrane syntaxins has been assigned as a negative regulatory element in vitro. This region is absolutely required for syntaxin function in vivo. We now show that the required function of the NH2-terminal regulatory domain (NRD) of the yeast plasma membrane syntaxin, Sso1p, can be circumvented when t-SNARE complex formation is made intramolecular. Our results suggest that the NRD is required for efficient t-SNARE complex formation and does not recruit necessary scaffolding factors.
PMCID: PMC2063558  PMID: 16401725
13.  The Polybasic Juxtamembrane Region of Sso1p Is Required for SNARE Function In Vivo† 
Eukaryotic Cell  2005;4(12):2017-2028.
Exocytosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires the specific interaction between the plasma membrane t-SNARE complex (Sso1/2p;Sec9p)and a vesicular v-SNARE (Snc1/2p). While SNARE proteins drive membrane fusion, many aspects of SNARE assembly and regulation are ill defined. Plasma membrane syntaxin homologs (including Sso1p) contain a highly charged juxtamembrane region between the transmembrane helix and the “SNARE domain” or core complex domain. We examined this region in vitro and in vivo by targeted sequence modification, including insertions and replacements. These modified Sso1 proteins were expressed as the sole copy of Sso in S. cerevisiae and examined for viability. We found that mutant Sso1 proteins with insertions or duplications show limited function, whereas replacement of as few as three amino acids preceding the transmembrane domain resulted in a nonfunctional SNARE in vivo. Viability is also maintained when two proline residues are inserted in the juxtamembrane of Sso1p, suggesting that helical continuity between the transmembrane domain and the core coiled-coil domain is not absolutely required. Analysis of these mutations in vitro utilizing a reconstituted fusion assay illustrates that the mutant Sso1 proteins are only moderately impaired in fusion. These results suggest that the sequence of the juxtamembrane region of Sso1p is vital for function in vivo, independent of the ability of these proteins to direct membrane fusion.
PMCID: PMC1317504  PMID: 16339720
14.  Sec1p directly stimulates SNARE-mediated membrane fusion in vitro 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2004;167(1):75-85.
Sec1 proteins are critical players in membrane trafficking, yet their precise role remains unknown. We have examined the role of Sec1p in the regulation of post-Golgi secretion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Indirect immunofluorescence shows that endogenous Sec1p is found primarily at the bud neck in newly budded cells and in patches broadly distributed within the plasma membrane in unbudded cells. Recombinant Sec1p binds strongly to the t-SNARE complex (Sso1p/Sec9c) as well as to the fully assembled ternary SNARE complex (Sso1p/Sec9c;Snc2p), but also binds weakly to free Sso1p. We used recombinant Sec1p to test Sec1p function using a well-characterized SNARE-mediated membrane fusion assay. The addition of Sec1p to a traditional in vitro fusion assay moderately stimulates fusion; however, when Sec1p is allowed to bind to SNAREs before reconstitution, significantly more Sec1p binding is detected and fusion is stimulated in a concentration-dependent manner. These data strongly argue that Sec1p directly stimulates SNARE-mediated membrane fusion.
PMCID: PMC2172507  PMID: 15466482
15.  Regulation of membrane fusion by the membrane-proximal coil of the t-SNARE during zippering of SNAREpins 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2002;158(5):929-940.
We utilize structurally targeted peptides to identify a “tC fusion switch” inherent to the coil domains of the neuronal t-SNARE that pairs with the cognate v-SNARE. The tC fusion switch is located in the membrane-proximal portion of the t-SNARE and controls the rate at which the helical bundle that forms the SNAREpin can zip up to drive bilayer fusion. When the fusion switch is “off” (the intrinsic state of the t-SNARE), zippering of the helices from their membrane-distal ends is impeded and fusion is slow. When the tC fusion switch is “on,” fusion is much faster. The tC fusion switch can be thrown by a peptide that corresponds to the membrane-proximal half of the cognate v-SNARE, and binds reversibly to the cognate region of the t-SNARE. This structures the coil in the membrane-proximal domain of the t-SNARE and accelerates fusion, implying that the intrinsically unstable coil in that region is a natural impediment to the completion of zippering, and thus, fusion. Proteins that stabilize or destabilize one or the other state of the tC fusion switch would exert fine temporal control over the rate of fusion after SNAREs have already partly zippered up.
PMCID: PMC2173141  PMID: 12213837
SNAP-25; liposome; syntaxin; vesicle; VAMP
16.  A t-SNARE of the endocytic pathway must be activated for fusion 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;155(6):961-968.
The t-SNARE in a late Golgi compartment (Tlg2p) syntaxin is required for endocytosis and localization of cycling proteins to the late Golgi compartment in yeast. We show here that Tlg2p assembles with two light chains, Tlg1p and Vti1p, to form a functional t-SNARE that mediates fusion, specifically with the v-SNAREs Snc1p and Snc2p. In vitro, this t-SNARE is inert, locked in a nonfunctional state, unless it is activated for fusion. Activation can be mediated by a peptide derived from the v-SNARE, which likely bypasses additional regulatory proteins in the cell. Locking t-SNAREs creates the potential for spatial and temporal regulation of fusion by signaling processes that unleash their fusion capacity.
PMCID: PMC2150898  PMID: 11739407
SNARE; endosome; Tlg2p; Snc2p; fusion
17.  Close Is Not Enough 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;150(1):105-118.
Is membrane fusion an essentially passive or an active process? It could be that fusion proteins simply need to pin two bilayers together long enough, and the bilayers could do the rest spontaneously. Or, it could be that the fusion proteins play an active role after pinning two bilayers, exerting force in the bilayer in one or another way to direct the fusion process. To distinguish these alternatives, we replaced one or both of the peptidic membrane anchors of exocytic vesicle (v)- and target membrane (t)-SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein [NSF] attachment protein [SNAP] receptor) with covalently attached lipids. Replacing either anchor with a phospholipid prevented fusion of liposomes by the isolated SNAREs, but still allowed assembly of trans-SNARE complexes docking vesicles. This result implies an active mechanism; if fusion occurred passively, simply holding the bilayers together long enough would have been sufficient. Studies using polyisoprenoid anchors ranging from 15–55 carbons and multiple phospholipid-containing anchors reveal distinct requirements for anchors of v- and t-SNAREs to function: v-SNAREs require anchors capable of spanning both leaflets, whereas t-SNAREs do not, so long as the anchor is sufficiently hydrophobic. These data, together with previous results showing fusion is inhibited as the length of the linker connecting the helical bundle-containing rod of the SNARE complex to the anchors is increased (McNew, J.A., T. Weber, D.M. Engelman, T.H. Sollner, and J.E. Rothman, 1999. Mol. Cell. 4:415–421), suggests a model in which one activity of the SNARE complex promoting fusion is to exert force on the anchors by pulling on the linkers. This motion would lead to the simultaneous inward movement of lipids from both bilayers, and in the case of the v-SNARE, from both leaflets.
PMCID: PMC2185554  PMID: 10893260
lipid mixing; isoprene; liposome; lipid anchor; vesicular transport
18.  Snarepins Are Functionally Resistant to Disruption by Nsf and αSNAP 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;149(5):1063-1072.
SNARE (SNAP [soluble NSF {N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive fusion protein} attachment protein] receptor) proteins are required for many fusion processes, and recent studies of isolated SNARE proteins reveal that they are inherently capable of fusing lipid bilayers. Cis-SNARE complexes (formed when vesicle SNAREs [v-SNAREs] and target membrane SNAREs [t-SNAREs] combine in the same membrane) are disrupted by the action of the abundant cytoplasmic ATPase NSF, which is necessary to maintain a supply of uncombined v- and t-SNAREs for fusion in cells. Fusion is mediated by these same SNARE proteins, forming trans-SNARE complexes between membranes. This raises an important question: why doesn't NSF disrupt these SNARE complexes as well, preventing fusion from occurring at all? Here, we report several lines of evidence that demonstrate that SNAREpins (trans-SNARE complexes) are in fact functionally resistant to NSF, and they become so at the moment they form and commit to fusion. This elegant design allows fusion to proceed locally in the face of an overall environment that massively favors SNARE disruption.
PMCID: PMC2174819  PMID: 10831610
membrane fusion; SNARE; NSF; αSNAP; liposomes
19.  Characterization of a Novel Yeast SNARE Protein Implicated in Golgi Retrograde Traffic 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1997;8(12):2659-2676.
The protein trafficking machinery of eukaryotic cells is employed for protein secretion and for the localization of resident proteins of the exocytic and endocytic pathways. Protein transit between organelles is mediated by transport vesicles that bear integral membrane proteins (v-SNAREs) which selectively interact with similar proteins on the target membrane (t-SNAREs), resulting in a docked vesicle. A novel Saccharomyces cerevisiae SNARE protein, which has been termed Vti1p, was identified by its sequence similarity to known SNAREs. Vti1p is a predominantly Golgi-localized 25-kDa type II integral membrane protein that is essential for yeast viability. Vti1p can bind Sec17p (yeast SNAP) and enter into a Sec18p (NSF)-sensitive complex with the cis-Golgi t-SNARE Sed5p. This Sed5p/Vti1p complex is distinct from the previously described Sed5p/Sec22p anterograde vesicle docking complex. Depletion of Vti1p in vivo causes a defect in the transport of the vacuolar protein carboxypeptidase Y through the Golgi. Temperature-sensitive mutants of Vti1p show a similar carboxypeptidase Y trafficking defect, but the secretion of invertase and gp400/hsp150 is not significantly affected. The temperature-sensitive vti1 growth defect can be rescued by the overexpression of the v-SNARE, Ykt6p, which physically interacts with Vti1p. We propose that Vti1p, along with Ykt6p and perhaps Sft1p, acts as a retrograde v-SNARE capable of interacting with the cis-Golgi t-SNARE Sed5p.
PMCID: PMC25735  PMID: 9398683

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