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Sci. Signal., 16 September 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 37, p. ec328
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.137ec328]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Cell Biology Open and Closed Case

Stella M. Hurtley

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Calcium-triggered synaptic vesicle membrane fusion is driven by so-called SNARE proteins and Sec1/Munc18-like proteins. Gerber et al. use mouse genetics in combination with electron microscopy and electrophysiology to investigate the function of the evolutionarily conserved Munc18-syntaxin complex in fusion. In mutant mice that express only "open" syntaxin-1 that cannot bind Munc18-1 but still forms SNARE-complexes and Munc18-SNARE-complexes, the Munc18-1-syntaxin-1 complex is selectively essential for tethering synaptic vesicles and for controlling the rate of fusion of these vesicles. Thus, in vivo, syntaxin-1 function goes beyond catalyzing fusion but also regulates fusion.

S. H. Gerber, J.-C. Rah, S.-W. Min, X. Liu, H. de Wit, I. Dulubova, A. C. Meyer, J. Rizo, M. Arancillo, R. E. Hammer, M. Verhage, C. Rosenmund, T. C. Südhof, Conformational switch of syntaxin-1 controls synaptic vesicle fusion. Science 321, 1507-1510 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: S. M. Hurtley, Open and Closed Case. Sci. Signal. 1, ec328 (2008).



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