SNAP receptors implicated in vesicle targeting and fusion

Thomas Söllner, Sidney W. Whiteheart, Michael Brunner, Hediye Erdjument-Bromage, Scott Geromanos, Paul Tempst, James E. Rothman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2758 Scopus citations


The N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein (NSF) and the soluble NSF attachment proteins (SNAPs) appear to be essential components of the intracellular membrane fusion apparatus. An affinity purification procedure based on the natural binding of these proteins to their targets was used to isolate SNAP receptors (SNAREs) from bovine brain. Remarkably, the four principal proteins isolated were all proteins associated with the synapse, with one type located in the synaptic vesicle and another in the plasma membrane, suggesting a simple mechanism for vesicle docking. The existence of numerous SNARE-related proteins, each apparently specific for a single kind of vesicle or target membrane, indicates that NSF and SNAPs may be universal components of a vesicle fusion apparatus common to both constitutive and regulated fusion (including neurotransmitter release), in which the SNAREs may help to ensure vesicle-to-target specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-324
Number of pages7
Issue number6418
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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