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Trends Biochem Sci. 2005 Jul;30(7):367-72.

SNARE complexes and neuroexocytosis: how many, how close?

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche and Istituto CNR di Neuroscienze, Università di Padova, Viale G. Colombo n. 3, 35121 Padova, Italy. cesare.montecucco@unipd.it

Abstract

Regulated secretion is an essential process in all eukaryotic cells. The release of molecules contained inside exocytic granules and synaptic vesicles is mediated by the assembly of a SNARE complex formed by the coil-coiling of three proteins: SNAP-25, syntaxin and VAMP/synaptobrevin. It seems that SNARE complexes assemble together in rosette-shaped super-complexes but there is controversy on the actual number (N) of copies of SNARE complexes that are necessary to mediate exocytosis. We discuss attempts to determine the value of N and suggest that N varies with the type of exocytic vesicles. In addition, we propose that the N value in neuroexocytosis can be estimated by the comparative use of different types of botulinum neurotoxins.

PMID:
15935678
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibs.2005.05.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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