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Open Access Research article

Localization of plasma membrane t-SNAREs syntaxin 2 and 3 in intracellular compartments

Arja M Band1* and Esa Kuismanen2

Author affiliations

1 Haartman Institute and Molecular and Cancer Biology Program, Biomedicum Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 8, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

2 Department of Biosciences, Division of Biochemistry, Viikki Biocenter, Viikinkaari 5, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

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Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2005, 6:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-6-26

Published: 19 May 2005



Membrane fusion requires the formation of a complex between a vesicle protein (v-SNARE) and the target membrane proteins (t-SNAREs). Syntaxin 2 and 3 are t-SNAREs that, according to previous over-expression studies, are predominantly localized at the plasma membrane. In the present study we investigated localization of the endogenous syntaxin 2 and 3.


Endogenous syntaxin 2 and 3 were found in NRK cells in intracellular vesicular structures in addition to regions of the plasma membrane. Treatment of these cells with N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), which is known to inactivate membrane fusion, caused syntaxin 3 to accumulate in the trans-Golgi network and syntaxin 2 in perinuclear membrane vesicles. Kinetic analysis in the presence of NEM indicated that this redistribution of syntaxin 2 and 3 takes place via actin containing structures.


Our data suggest that syntaxin 2 cycles between the plasma membrane and the perinuclear compartment whereas syntaxin 3 cycles between the plasma membrane and the trans-Golgi network. It is possible that this cycling has an important role in the regulation of t-SNARE function.