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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Munc18-2, a functional partner of syntaxin 3, controls apical membrane trafficking in epithelial cells.

The Sec1-related proteins bind to syntaxin family t-SNAREs with high affinity, thus controlling the interaction of syntaxins with their cognate SNARE partners. Munc18-2 is a Sec1 homologue enriched in epithelial cells and forms a complex with syntaxin 3, a t-SNARE localized to the apical plasma membrane. We generated here a set of Munc18-2 point mutants with substitutions in conserved amino acid residues. The mutants displayed a spectrum of different syntaxin binding efficiencies. The in vitro and in vivo binding patterns were highly similar, and the association of the Munc18-2 variants with syntaxin 3 correlated well with their ability to displace SNAP-23 from syntaxin 3 complexes when overexpressed in Caco-2 cells. Even the Munc18-2 mutants that do not detectably bind syntaxin 3 were membrane associated in Caco-2 cells, suggesting that the syntaxin interaction is not the sole determinant of Sec1 protein membrane attachment. Overexpression of the wild-type Munc18-2 was shown to inhibit the apical delivery of influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA). Interestingly, mutants unable to bind syntaxin 3 behaved differently in the HA transport assay. While one of the mutants tested had no effect, one inhibited and one enhanced the apical transport of HA. This implies that Munc18-2 function in apical membrane trafficking involves aspects independent of the syntaxin 3 interaction.[1]


  1. Munc18-2, a functional partner of syntaxin 3, controls apical membrane trafficking in epithelial cells. Riento, K., Kauppi, M., Keranen, S., Olkkonen, V.M. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
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