Syntaxin clusters assemble reversibly at sites of secretory granules in live cells

S. Barg, M. K. Knowles, X. Chen, M. Midorikawa, Wolfhard Almers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Syntaxin resides in the plasma membrane, where it helps to catalyze membrane fusion during exocytosis. The protein also forms clusters in cell-free and granule-free plasma-membrane sheets. We imaged the interaction between syntaxin and single secretory granules by two-color total internal reflection microscopy in PC12 cells. Syntaxin-GFP assembled in clusters at sites where single granules had docked at the plasma membrane. Clusters were intermittently present at granule sites, as syntaxin molecules assembled and disassembled in a coordinated fashion. Recruitment to granules required the N-terminal domain of syntaxin, but not the entry of syntaxin into SNARE complexes. Clusters facilitated exocytosis and disassembled once exocytosis was complete. Syntaxin cluster formation defines an intermediate step in exocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20804-20809
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 30 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic instability
  • Molecular docking
  • Nanodomains
  • Total internal reflection fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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