459696 Snapshot of Sequential SNARE Assembling States Between Membranes Shows That N-Terminal Transient Assembly Initializes Fusion

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 9:20 AM
Plaza A (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Frederic Pincet, Ecole Normale Supérieure, PARIS, France

Many prominent biological processes are driven by protein assembling between membranes. Understanding the mechanisms then entails determining the assembling pathway of the involved proteins. Because the intermediates are by nature transient and located in the intermembrane space, this determination is generally a very difficult, not to say intractable, problem. In this presentation, I will present a new setup with sphere/plane geometry. Using this setup, we have been able to freeze one transient state in which the N-terminal domains of SNARE proteins are assembled. A single camera frame is sufficient to obtain the complete probability of this state with the transmembrane distance. I will show that it forms when membranes are 20 nm apart and stabilizes by further assembling of the SNAREs at 8 nm. This setup that fixes the intermembrane distance, and thereby the transient states, while optically probing the level of molecular assembly by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) can be used to characterize any other transient transmembrane complexes.

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See more of this Session: Honorary Session for Georges Belfort III
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division