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SNARE question, NO this is not my homework...

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SNARE question, NO this is not my homework...

Postby cyberlunge » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:30 am

In discussing the SNARE proteins used in vesicle docking I asked what SNARE stands for as it is obviously an acronym. The text has no definition and the teacher was unable to give an accurate answer. I have come up with the following:
It stands for SNAP (synaptosomal-associated protein) receptor which can be described as a soluble NSF attachment protein. This doesnt make sense to me as the synaptosomal would indicate that it had something to do with a nerve (by definition) and this is referring to a latching protein for vesicle recognition/reception. Is/was this first identified as a mechanism by which neural exocytosis was achieved and then the label was applied to other vesicular combination or is this not the correct definition?
Cell is not my main area of focus in my studies so this isnt critical its just bugging me!!
Thanks
Kevin
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Postby blcr11 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:50 pm

Must be more than one definition for SNAP.

I'm no cell biologist either, but what I found perusing PubMed:

SNAP = soluble NSF attachment protein(s?)
NSF = N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor (N-ethylmaleimide reacts with cysteines)
SNARE = SNAP Receptor

They seem to be involved in membrane fusion processes and so could be involved in any number of things including, but certainly not limited to, synaptic vesicle release.
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