Crystal structure of the vesicular transport protein Sec17: Implications for SNAP function in SNARE complex disassembly

Luke M. Rice, Axel T. Brunger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Scopus citations


SNAP proteins play an essential role in membrane trafficking in eukaryotic cells. They activate and recycle SNARE proteins by serving as adaptors between SNAREs and the cytosolic chaperone NSF. We have determined the crystal structure of Sec17, the yeast homolog of α-SNAP, to 2.9 Å resolution. Sec17 is composed of an N-terminal twisted sheet of α-helical hairpins and a C-terminal α-helical bundle. The N-terminal sheet has local similarity to the tetratricopeptide repeats from protein phosphatase 5 but has a different overall twist. Sec17 also shares structural features with HEAT and clathrin heavy chain repeats. Possible models of SNAP:SNARE binding suggest that SNAPs may function as lever arms, transmitting forces generated by conformational changes in NSF/Sec18 to drive disassembly of SNARE complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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