SNAREs, HOPS and regulatory lipids control the dynamics of vacuolar actin during homotypic fusion in S. Cerevisiae

Surya Karunakaran, Terry Sasser, Sailasree Rajalekshmi, Rutilio A. Fratti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Homotypic vacuole fusion requires SNAREs, the Rab Ypt7p, the tethering complex HOPS, regulatory lipids and actin. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, actin functions at two stages of vacuole fusion. Pre-existing actin filaments are depolymerized to allow docking and assembly of the vertex ring (a microdomain enriched in proteins and lipids that mediate fusion). Actin is then polymerized late in the pathway to aid fusion. Here, we report that the fusion machinery regulates the accumulation of actin at the vertex ring. Using Cy3-labeled yeast actin to track its dynamics, we found that its vertex enrichment was abolished when actin monomers were stabilized by latrunculin-B, independent of the extent of incorporation. By contrast, stabilization of filamentous actin with jasplakinolide markedly augmented actin vertex enrichment. Importantly, agents that inhibit SNAREs, Ypt7p and HOPS inhibited the vertex enrichment of actin, demonstrating that the cytoskeleton and the fusion machinery are interdependently regulated. Actin mobilization was also inhibited by ligating ergosterol and PtdIns(3)P, whereas the ligation or modification of PtdIns(4,5)P2 augmented the vertex enrichment of actin. The proteins and lipids that regulated actin mobilization to the vertex did not affect the total incorporation of Cy3-actin, indicating that actin mobilization and polymerization activities can be dissociated during membrane fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1692
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012


  • Actin dynamics
  • Fusion
  • HOPS
  • Phosphoinositide
  • Phospholipase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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