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The superfamily of Ras proteins comprises different molecules belonging to the GTPase family. They normally cycle between an active state bound to GTP which activates effectors while the protein is membrane-associated, and an inactive GDP-bound state. They regulate the intracellular trafficking and other cellular processes. The family of Rab proteins includes several members and they have been found, among other Ras proteins, to be fundamental for important biological processes, such as endocytosis and exocytosis. SNARE proteins control the fusion of vesicles by forming quaternary complexes which are divided into two small groups on the two different compartments. Generally, the association of three SNARE proteins on the donor compartment with the one on the target compartment determines the formation of the SNARE complex, the opening of the fusion pore and the formation of one single bigger vesicle. Interestingly, novel interactions between other molecules involved in intracellular trafficking, endosomal fusion and maturation have recently been found, such as the interaction between invariant chain and the Qb SNARE vti1b, and more functional connections between Rab proteins and SNAREs are supposed to be fundamental for the regulation of membrane fusion.


Azzurra Margiotta. Membrane Fusion and SNAREs: Interaction with Ras Proteins. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Jul 22;23(15)

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PMID: 35897641

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