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J Cell Sci. 1998 Jun;111 ( Pt 11):1507-20.

Recycling of the yeast v-SNARE Sec22p involves COPI-proteins and the ER transmembrane proteins Ufe1p and Sec20p.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, D-37070 Göttingen, Germany.


Vesicle-specific SNAP receptors (v-SNAREs) are believed to cycle between consecutive membrane compartments. The v-SNARE Sec22(Sly2)p mediates the targeting of vesicles between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and early Golgi of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To analyze factors involved in targeting of Sec22(Sly2)p, an alpha-factor-tagged Sec22 protein (Sec22-alpha) was employed. Only on reaching the late Golgi, can alpha-factor be cleaved from this hybrid protein by Kex2p, a protease localized in this compartment. In wild-type cells Kex2p-cleavage is observed only when Sec22-alpha is greatly overproduced. Immunofluorescence microscopy and subcellular fractionation studies showed that Sec22-alpha is returned to the ER from the late Golgi (Kex2p) compartment. When Sec22-alpha is expressed in wild-type cells at levels comparable to the quantities of endogenous Sec22p, very little of this protein is cleaved by Kex2p. Efficient cleavage, however, occurs in mutants defective in the retrograde transport of different ER-resident proteins indicating that Sec22-alpha rapidly reaches the late Golgi of these cells. These mutants (sec20-1, sec21-1, sec27-1 and ufe1-1) reveal Golgi structures when stained for Sec22-alpha and do not show the ER-immunofluorescence observed in wild-type cells. These results show consistently that Sec22p recycles from the Golgi back to the ER and that this recycling involves retrograde COPI vesicles.

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