Zippering of SNARE complexes spanning docked membranes is essential for most intracellular fusion events. Here we explore how SNARE regulators operate on discrete zippering states. The formation of a metastable trans-complex, catalyzed by HOPS and its SM subunit Vps33, is followed by subsequent zippering transitions that increase the probability of fusion. Operating independently of Sec18 (NSF) catalysis, Sec17 (α-SNAP) either inhibits or stimulates SNARE-mediated fusion. If HOPS or Vps33 are absent, Sec17 inhibits fusion at an early stage. Thus, Vps33/HOPS promotes productive SNARE assembly in the presence of otherwise inhibitory Sec17. Once SNAREs are partially zipped, Sec17 promotes fusion in either the presence or absence of HOPS, but with faster kinetics when HOPS is absent, suggesting that ejection of the SM is a rate-limiting step.
- Alexey J Merz
- Matthew L Schwartz
- Braden T Lobingier
- Cortney G Angers
- Michael Zick
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Axel T Brunger, Stanford University Medical Center, United States
© 2017, Schwartz et al.
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