ISSN: 0970-938X (Print) | 0976-1683 (Electronic)

Biomedical Research

An International Journal of Medical Sciences


Review on SNARE proteins in cellular membrane trafficking

Membrane trafficking encompasses the wide variety of processes that go into the movement of cargo using membrane bound transport vesicles. Vesicle-mediated membrane traffic includes, vesicle budding, transport, tethering, and fusion. SNARE proteins mediate membrane fusion as fusion process during the fidelity of membrane trafficking together with coats, tethers, and Rabs. Functionally, SNAREs can be classified into v-SNAREs associated with the vesicle (or other forms of transport intermediates) and t-SNARE associated with the target compartment. A v-SNARE on the transport vesicle interacts with the cognate t-SNARE on the target membrane compartment to form trans-SNARE complexes with the help of SM proteins and tethering factors. The interaction between v- and t-SNAREs is thought to bring the membranes close enough together so that they can fuse. After fusion the ATPase NSF unravels the v- and t-SNAREs. The v-SNAREs are recycled to the starting membrane compartment. SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) are now generally accepted to be the major players in the final stage of the docking and the subsequent fusion of diverse vesicle-mediated transport events. The SNARE-mediated process is conserved evolutionally from yeast to human, as well as mechanistically and structurally across different transport events in eukaryotic cells. Mutation of SNAREs or disruption of SNARE complex formation may result in cellular or physiological defects from yeast to human.

Author(s): Kiflay Mulugeta, Kbrom Gerezgiher, Maezu G/slassie
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