Intracellular vesicles destined to fuse with the plasma membrane and secrete their contents must have a mechanism for specifically interacting with the appropriate target membrane. Such a mechanism is now suggested by the demonstration of specific interaction between vesicular proteins and plasma membrane proteins. The vesicle-associated membrane proteins (VAMPs) 1 and 2 specifically bind the acceptor membrane proteins syntaxin 1A and 4 but not syntaxin 2 or 3. The binding site is within amino acids 194 to 267 of syntaxin 1A, and the approximate equilibrium dissociation constant is 4.7 x 10-6 molar. These data suggest a physical basis for the specificity of intracellular vesicular transport.