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Nature. 2000 Sep 14;407(6801):153-9.

Compartmental specificity of cellular membrane fusion encoded in SNARE proteins.

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Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Membrane-enveloped vesicles travel among the compartments of the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, delivering their specific cargo to programmed locations by membrane fusion. The pairing of vesicle v-SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) with target membrane t-SNAREs has a central role in intracellular membrane fusion. We have tested all of the potential v-SNAREs encoded in the yeast genome for their capacity to trigger fusion by partnering with t-SNAREs that mark the Golgi, the vacuole and the plasma membrane. Here we find that, to a marked degree, the pattern of membrane flow in the cell is encoded and recapitulated by its isolated SNARE proteins, as predicted by the SNARE hypothesis.

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