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Mol Biol Cell. 2000 Oct;11(10):3485-94.

Vimentin filaments in fibroblasts are a reservoir for SNAP23, a component of the membrane fusion machinery.

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  • 1Group of Cellular Biology of Tumoral Immunity, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U520, Institut Curie, F-75248 Paris Cédex 05, France.


Soluble N-ethyl maleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) are core machinery for membrane fusion during intracellular vesicular transport. Synaptosome-associated protein of 23 kDa (SNAP23) is a target SNARE previously identified at the plasma membrane, where it is involved in exocytotic membrane fusion. Here we show that SNAP23 associates with vimentin filaments in a Triton X-100 insoluble fraction in fibroblasts in primary culture and HeLa cells. Upon treatment of human fibroblasts with N-ethyl-maleimide, SNAP23 dissociates from vimentin filaments and forms a protein complex with syntaxin 4, a plasma membrane SNARE. The vimentin-associated pool of SNAP23 can therefore be a reservoir, which would supply the plasma membrane fusion machinery, in fibroblasts. Our observation points to a yet unexplored role of intermediate filaments.

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