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Homotypic fusion between early endosomes can be reconstituted in vitro. By using wortmannin and LY294002, inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol (Pl) 3-kinase, a requirement for this activity has been established in order for fusion to proceed efficiently. It has been shown that Pl 3-kinase activity is required downstream of rab5 activation, although a large excess of activated rab5 can overcome wortmannin inhibition. A series of experiments have also been performed which indicate a role for early endosomal autoantigen 1 (EEA1) in determining fusion efficiency. EEA1 dissociates from membranes following wortmannin treatment. It is proposed that the requirement of endosome fusion for Pl 3-kinase activity is to promote the association of EEA1 with endosomes.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





73 - 79


Androstadienes, Animals, Carrier Proteins, Endosomes, Enzyme Inhibitors, GTP-Binding Proteins, Membrane Fusion, Membrane Proteins, Models, Biological, N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Proteins, Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases, Signal Transduction, Soluble N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Factor Attachment Proteins, Vesicular Transport Proteins, Wortmannin, rab5 GTP-Binding Proteins