Molecular machinery driving membrane fusion and synaptic vesicle release

Molecular observations of synaptic proteins provide a unique viewpoint on neurotransmission that complements electrophysiology measurements. We developed molecular tweezers that can monitor the zippering of a single SNARE complex, a process that drives synaptic vesicle fusion. The method simultaneously manipulates and probes the structure of a SNARE complex with a millisecond time resolution, revealing partially zippered SNAREs and their interactions with other presynaptic proteins. In this way, a force application technique can be employed to address mechanical aspects of molecular neuroscience.


  • Focused clamping of a single neuronal SNARE complex by complexin under high mechanical tension
    Min Ju Shon*, Haesoo Kim* & Tae-Young Yoon
    ‎Nat. Commun 9, 3639 (2018)
  • Spring-loaded unraveling of a single SNARE complex by NSF in one round of ATP turnover
    Je-Kyung Ryu*, Duyoung Min*, Sang-Hyun Rah*, Soo Jin Kim, Yongsoo Park, Haesoo Kim, Changbong Hyeon, Ho Min Kim, Reinhard Jahn† & Tae-Young Yoon†
    Science 347, 1485–1489 (2015)