Cell Biology

Maintaining One-Way Traffic

Science's STKE  13 Apr 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 228, pp. tw138-TW138
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2282004TW138

The communication between different membrane-bounded compartments in the cell is brought about by vesicles. Vesicles are generated from a donor compartment and travel to an acceptor organelle, where they will dock and fuse. Kamena and Spang show that an active mechanism exists in the cell that prevents back-fusion of newly formed vesicles with the donor membrane. This mechanism provides directionality to vesicular transport. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the TIP20 protein prevents the back-fusion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived vesicles and could thus act as a discriminator between incoming and outgoing vesicles at the ER.

F. Kamena, A. Spang, Tip20p prohibits back-fusion of COPII vesicles with the endoplasmic reticulum. Science 304, 286-289 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]