PROSITE documentation PDOC50892
v-SNARE coiled-coil homology domain profile


The process of vesicular membrane fusion in eukaryotic cells depends on a conserved fusion machinery called SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) attachment protein (SNAP) receptors). In the process of vesicle docking, proteins present on the vesicle (v-SNARE) have to bind to their counterpart on the target membrane (t-SNARE) to form a core complex that can then recruit the soluble proteins NSF and SNAP. This so called fusion complex can then disassemble after ATP hydrolysis mediated by the ATPase NSF in a process that leads to membrane fusion and the release of the vesicle contents. v-SNAREs include proteins homologous to synaptobrevin [1,2,3].

Structurally the SNARE complex is generally a four-helix bundle comprised of three coiled-coil-forming domains from t-SNAREs (see <PDOC50192>) and one from v-SNARE (see <PDB:1GL2>). Although sequence similarity in the t- and v-SNARE coiled-coil homology domains are low there is a striking conservation of the so-called heptad repeat that is of central importance in forming a coiled-coil structure. In a coiled-coil motif, seven residues constitute a canonical heptad and are designated 'a' through 'g', with 'a' and 'd' being occupied by hydrophobic residues. The association of the four α-helices in the SNARE fusion complex structure produces highly conserved layers of interacting amino acid side chains in the center of the four-helix bundle. The center of the bundle is made up of 15 hydrophobic layers from the 'a' and 'd' positions of the heptad repeats of the coiled-coil-forming domains, whereas the central 'ionic' layer is highly conserved and polar in nature, containing a glutamine residue in the three t-SNAREs and an arginine in the v-SNARE, hence the classification of v- and t-SNAREs as R- and Q-SNAREs, respectively. The v-SNARE coiled-coil homology domain is around 60 amino acids in length [1,2,3].

The profile we developed cover the entire v-SNARE coiled-coil homology domain.

Last update:

December 2002 / New entry.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

V_SNARE, PS50892; v-SNARE coiled-coil homology domain profile  (MATRIX)


1AuthorsTerrian D.M. White M.K.
TitlePhylogenetic analysis of membrane trafficking proteins: a family reunion and secondary structure predictions.
SourceEur. J. Cell Biol. 73:198-204(1997).
PubMed ID9243180

2AuthorsFasshauer D. Sutton R.B. Brunger A.T. Jahn R.
TitleConserved structural features of the synaptic fusion complex: SNARE proteins reclassified as Q- and R-SNAREs.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 95:15781-15786(1998).
PubMed ID9861047

3AuthorsScales S.J. Hesser B.A. Masuda E.S. Scheller R.H.
TitleAmisyn, a novel syntaxin-binding protein that may regulate SNARE complex assembly.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 277:28271-28279(2002).
PubMed ID12145319

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