The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has a characteristic polygonal structure with hallmark three-way junctions. In a previous paper, we reconstituted the disruption of the pre-existing ER network using mitotic cytosol from HeLa cells in streptolysin O (SLO)-permeabilized CHO-HSP cells (stably expressing GFP-HSP47). In addition, we found that interphase cytosol induced reformation of the disrupted ER network into a continuous network structure. Here, we show that the reformation of the ER network is accomplished through two sequential fusion reactions. The first process is mediated by NSF/α and γ-SNAPs, and involves the generation of typical membranous intermediate structures that connect the disrupted ER tubules. A subsequent fusion is mediated by p97/p47/VCIP135, which has been shown to be required for homotypic fusion events in Golgi cisternae regrowth after mitosis. In addition, we also found that both fusion processes involve the t-SNARE, syntaxin 18.
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