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

Combinatorial SNARE complexes modulate the secretion of cytoplasmic granules in human neutrophils.

Mobilization of human neutrophil granules is critical for the innate immune response against infection and for the outburst of inflammation. Human neutrophil-specific and tertiary granules are readily exocytosed upon cell activation, whereas azurophilic granules are mainly mobilized to the phagosome. These cytoplasmic granules appear to be under differential secretory control. In this study, we show that combinatorial soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes with vesicle-associated membrane proteins (VAMPs), 23-kDa synaptosome-associated protein (SNAP-23), and syntaxin 4 underlie the differential mobilization of granules in human neutrophils. Specific and tertiary granules contained VAMP-1, VAMP-2, and SNAP-23, whereas the azurophilic granule membranes were enriched in VAMP-1 and VAMP-7. Ultrastructural, coimmunoprecipitation, and functional assays showed that SNARE complexes containing VAMP-1, VAMP-2, and SNAP-23 mediated the rapid exocytosis of specific/tertiary granules, whereas VAMP-1 and VAMP-7 mainly regulated the secretion of azurophilic granules. Plasma membrane syntaxin 4 acted as a general target SNARE for the secretion of the distinct granule populations. These data indicate that at least two SNARE complexes, made up of syntaxin 4/SNAP-23/VAMP-1 and syntaxin 4/SNAP-23/VAMP-2, are involved in the exocytosis of specific and tertiary granules, whereas interactions between syntaxin 4 and VAMP-1/VAMP-7 are involved in the exocytosis of azurophilic granules. Our data indicate that quantitative and qualitative differences in SNARE complex formation lead to the differential mobilization of the distinct cytoplasmic granules in human neutrophils, and a higher capability to form diverse SNARE complexes renders specific/tertiary granules prone to exocytosis.[1]


  1. Combinatorial SNARE complexes modulate the secretion of cytoplasmic granules in human neutrophils. Mollinedo, F., Calafat, J., Janssen, H., Martín-Martín, B., Canchado, J., Nabokina, S.M., Gajate, C. J. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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