In yeast and animal cells, members of the superfamily of -ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor adaptor protein receptor (SNARE)-domain-containing proteins are key players in vesicle-associated membrane fusion events during transport processes between individual compartments of the endomembrane system, including exocytosis and endocytosis. Compared with genomes of other eukaryotes, genomes of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants encode a surprisingly high number of SNARE proteins, suggesting vital roles for this protein class in higher plant species. Although to date it remains elusive whether plant SNARE proteins function like their yeast and animal counterparts, genetic screens have recently begun to unravel the variety of biological tasks in which plant SNAREs are involved. These duties involve fundamental processes such as cytokinesis, shoot gravitropism, pathogen defense, symbiosis, and abiotic stress responses, suggesting that SNAREs contribute essentially to many facets of plant biology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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