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

Fusion of membranes during the acrosome reaction: a tale of two SNAREs.

During spermiogenesis, hydrolytic enzymes are sorted from the Golgi apparatus to the acrosome, a supranuclear megavesicle. At fertilization, the enzymatic content of the acrosome is released by exocytosis when a portion of the plasma membrane enveloping the sperm head fuses with the outer membrane of the acrosome. Membrane fusion involves the interaction of a specific pair of proteins, called SNAREs (for soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor). v-SNARE is presumably associated with the membrane of the acrosomal vesicle. Target t-SNARE is associated with the plasma membrane. The interaction of v-SNARE and t-SNARE requires two additional proteins: Rab proteins, members of a family of small GTPases related to the Ras proteins, and a complex of two proteins, NSF-SNAP, recruited by the interacting v-SNARE-tSNARE pair. Syntaxin 2, a v-SNARE member, and Rab3A, a member of the Rab GTPases, have been localized in the acrosome of rodent sperm.[1]


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