i-SNAREs: Inhibitory SNAREs that fine-tune the specificity of membrane fusion

Oleg Varlamov, Allen Volchuk, Vahid Rahimian, Claudia A. Doege, Fabienne Paumet, William S. Eng, Nancy Arango, Francesco Parlati, Mariella Ravazzola, Lelio Orci, Thomas H. Söllner, James E. Rothman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    61 Scopus citations


    A new functional class of SNAREs, designated inhibitory SNAREs (i-SNAREs), is described here. An i-SNARE inhibits fusion by substituting for or binding to a subunit of a fusogenic SNAREpin to form a nonfusogenic complex. Golgi-localized SNAREs were tested for i-SNARE activity by adding them as a fifth SNARE together with four other SNAREs that mediate Golgi fusion reactions. A striking pattern emerges in which certain subunits of the cis-Golgi SNAREpin function as i-SNAREs that inhibit fusion mediated by the trans-Golgi SNAREpin, and vice versa. Although the opposing distributions of the cis- and trans-Golgi SNAREs themselves could provide for a countercurrent fusion pattern in the Golgi stack, the gradients involved would be strongly sharpened by the complementary countercurrent distributions of the i-SNAREs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)79-88
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Cell Biology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


    • Golgi
    • Gradient
    • Homotypic
    • Regulation
    • Vesicles

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cell Biology

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'i-SNAREs: Inhibitory SNAREs that fine-tune the specificity of membrane fusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Varlamov, O., Volchuk, A., Rahimian, V., Doege, C. A., Paumet, F., Eng, W. S., Arango, N., Parlati, F., Ravazzola, M., Orci, L., Söllner, T. H., & Rothman, J. E. (2004). i-SNAREs: Inhibitory SNAREs that fine-tune the specificity of membrane fusion. Journal of Cell Biology, 164(1), 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200307066