Membrane tethering and fusion in the secretory and endocytic pathways

M. Gerard Waters, Frederick M. Hughson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Studies of intracellular trafficking over the past decade or so have led to striking advances in our understanding of the molecular processes by which transport intermediates dock and fuse. SNARE proteins play a central role, assembling into complexes that bridge membranes and may catalyze membrane fusion directly. In general, different SNARE proteins operate in different intracellular trafficking pathways, so recent reports that SNARE assembly in vitro is promiscuous have come as something of a surprise. We propose a model in which proper SNARE assembly is under kinetic control, orchestrated by members of the Sec1 protein family, small GTP-binding Rab proteins, and a diverse assortment of tethering proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-597
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


  • Intracellular traffic
  • Membrane fusion
  • Membrane tethering
  • NSF
  • Rab
  • SNAP
  • Sec1
  • Tether


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