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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Jul;64(13):1597-608.

Regulation of SNARE fusion machinery by fatty acids.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QH, UK.


Vesicle fusion is a ubiquitous biological process involved in membrane trafficking and a variety of specialised events such as exocytosis and neurite outgrowth. The energy to drive biological membrane fusion is provided by fusion proteins called SNAREs. Indeed, SNARE proteins play critical roles in neuronal development as well as neurotransmitter and hormone release. SNARE proteins form a very tight alpha-helical bundle that can pull two membranes together, thereby initiating fusion. Whereas a great deal of attention has been paid to partner proteins that can affect SNARE function, recent genetic and biochemical evidence suggests that local lipid environment may be as important in SNARE regulation. Direct lipid modification of SNARE fusion proteins and their regulation by fatty acids following phospholipase action will be discussed here in detail. Our analysis highlights the fact that lipids are not a passive platform in vesicle fusion but intimately regulate SNARE function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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