Fakultät für Chemie - Biochemistry III
 
 
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Bielefeld University > Department of Chemistry > Research Groups > Prof. Dr. Gabriele Fischer von Mollard > Biochemistry III
PLoS ONE 8, e66304, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066304

Importance of the N-terminal domain of the Qb-SNARE Vti1p for different membrane transport steps in the yeast endosomal system

Gossing, M., Chidambaram, S., Fischer von Mollard, G.

SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) on transport vesicles and target membranes are crucial for vesicle targeting and fusion. They form SNARE complexes, which contain four a-helical SNARE motifs contributed by three or four different SNAREs. Most SNAREs function only in a single transport step. The yeast SNARE Vti1p participates in four distinct SNARE complexes in transport from the trans Golgi network to late endosomes, in transport to the vacuole, in retrograde transport from endosomes to the trans Golgi network and in retrograde transport within the Golgi. So far, all vti1 mutants investigated had mutations within the SNARE motif. Little is known about the function of the N-terminal domain of Vti1p, which forms a three helix bundle called Habc domain. Here we generated a temperature-sensitive mutant of this domain to study the effects on different transport steps. The secondary structure of wild type and vti1-3 Habc domain was analyzed by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The amino acid exchanges identified in the temperature-sensitive vti1-3 mutant caused unfolding of the Habc domain. Transport pathways were investigated by immunopreciptation of newly synthesized proteins after pulse-chase labeling and by fluorescence microscopy of a GFP-tagged protein cycling between plasma membrane, early endosomes and Golgi. In vti1-3 cells transport to the late endosome and assembly of the late endosomal SNARE complex was blocked at 37°C. Retrograde transport to the trans Golgi network was affected while fusion with the vacuole was possible but slower. Steady state levels of SNARE complexes mediating these steps were less affected than that of the late endosomal SNARE complex. As different transport steps were affected our data demonstrate the importance of a folded Vti1p Habc domain for transport.