Members of the syntaxin family play a fundamental role in vesicle docking and fusion of diverse transport events. We have molecularly characterized syntaxin 8, a novel member of the syntaxin family. The nucleotide sequence of cloned rat cDNA predicts a polypeptide of 236 residues with a carboxyl-terminal 18-residue hydrophobic domain that may function as a membrane anchor. Characteristic of syntaxins, syntaxin 8 also contain regions that have the potential to form coiled-coil structures. Among the known syntaxins, syntaxin 8 is most homologous to syntaxin 6 which is predominantly associated with the trans-Golgi network (TGN). The syntaxin 8 transcript is detected in all rat tissues examined by northern blot. Antibodies against recombinant syntaxin 8 recognize a 27 kDa protein that is enriched in membrane fractions containing the Golgi apparatus and the endosomal/lysosomal compartments. Syntaxin 8 in membrane extract could be incorporated into a 20S protein complex in a way that is dependent on the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) and soluble NSF attachment protein ((alpha)-SNAP), suggesting that syntaxin 8 is indeed a SNAP receptor (SNARE). Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that the majority of syntaxin 8 is localized to the early endosome marked by Rab5. This is corroborated by immunogold labeling experiments showing enrichment of syntaxin 8 in the early endosome and its co-labeling with Rab5.
- © 2000 by Company of Biologists