Confocal fluorescence detection of docking and fusion of single proteoliposomes - focus on a novel SNARE hybrid complex

The aim of this proposal is to gain insight into intermediate states of SNARE-mediated fusion. In addition to genuine SNAREs we will focus on an unusual SNARE hybrid complex consisting of the R-SNARE VAMP4 and three effector proteins of the pathogen Legionella pneumophila, which phenocopy Q-SNAREs in in vitro fusion reactions despite limited structural similarity. We expect that comparing fusion mechanisms of the hybrid complex with genuine SNAREs and synthetic SNARE analogs will yield novel insights into the structural requirements of protein-mediated membrane fusion.