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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 20;276(29):27480-7. Epub 2001 Apr 25.

Ykt6 forms a SNARE complex with syntaxin 5, GS28, and Bet1 and participates in a late stage in endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi transport.

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Membrane Biology Laboratory, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore 117609, Singapore.


The yeast SNARE Ykt6p has been implicated in several trafficking steps, including vesicular transport from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi, intra-Golgi transport, and homotypic vacuole fusion. The functional role of its mammalian homologue (Ykt6) has not been established. Using antibodies specific for mammalian Ykt6, it is revealed that it is found mainly in Golgi-enriched membranes. Three SNAREs, syntaxin 5, GS28, and Bet1, are specifically associated with Ykt6 as revealed by co-immunoprecipitation, suggesting that these four SNAREs form a SNARE complex. Double labeling of Ykt6 and the Golgi marker mannosidase II or the ER-Golgi recycling marker KDEL receptor suggests that Ykt6 is primarily associated with the Golgi apparatus. Unlike the KDEL receptor, Ykt6 does not cycle back to the peripheral ER exit sites. Antibodies against Ykt6 inhibit in vitro ER-Golgi transport of vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein (VSVG) only when they are added before the EGTA-sensitive stage. ER-Golgi transport of VSVG in vitro is also inhibited by recombinant Ykt6. In the presence of antibodies against Ykt6, VSVG accumulates in peri-Golgi vesicular structures and is prevented from entering the mannosidase II compartment, suggesting that Ykt6 functions at a late stage in ER-Golgi transport. Golgi apparatus marked by mannosidase II is fragmented into vesicular structures in cells microinjected with Ykt6 antibodies. It is concluded that Ykt6 functions in a late step of ER-Golgi transport, and this role may be important for the integrity of the Golgi complex.

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