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Multiple functions of the SNARE protein Snap29 in autophagy, endocytic, and exocytic trafficking during epithelial formation in Drosophila.

  • Author(s): Morelli, Elena
  • Ginefra, Pierpaolo
  • Mastrodonato, Valeria
  • Beznoussenko, Galina
  • Rusten, Tor
  • BILDER, David
  • Stenmark, Harald
  • Mironov, Alexandre
  • Vaccari, Thomas
  • et al.
Abstract

How autophagic degradation is linked to endosomal trafficking routes is little known. Here we screened a collection of uncharacterized Drosophila mutants affecting membrane transport to identify new genes that also have a role in autophagy. We isolated a loss of function mutant in Snap29 (Synaptosomal-associated protein 29 kDa), the gene encoding the Drosophila homolog of the human protein SNAP29 and have characterized its function in vivo. Snap29 contains 2 soluble NSF attachment protein receptor (SNARE) domains and a asparagine-proline-phenylalanine (NPF motif) at its N terminus and rescue experiments indicate that both SNARE domains are required for function, whereas the NPF motif is in part dispensable. We find that Snap29 interacts with SNARE proteins, localizes to multiple trafficking organelles, and is required for protein trafficking and for proper Golgi apparatus morphology. Developing tissue lacking Snap29 displays distinctive epithelial architecture defects and accumulates large amounts of autophagosomes, highlighting a major role of Snap29 in autophagy and secretion. Mutants for autophagy genes do not display epithelial architecture or secretion defects, suggesting that the these alterations of the Snap29 mutant are unlikely to be caused by the impairment of autophagy. In contrast, we find evidence of elevated levels of hop-Stat92E (hopscotch-signal transducer and activator of transcription protein at 92E) ligand, receptor, and associated signaling, which might underlie the epithelial defects. In summary, our findings support a role of Snap29 at key steps of membrane trafficking, and predict that signaling defects may contribute to the pathogenesis of cerebral dysgenesis, neuropathy, ichthyosis, and palmoplantar keratoderma (CEDNIK), a human congenital syndrome due to loss of Snap29.

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