The mechanisms regulating membrane recruitment of the p115 tethering factor in vivo are unknown. Here, we describe cycling of p115 between membranes and cytosol and document the effects of Golgi matrix proteins, Rab1, and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) attachment protein (SNAP) receptors (SNAREs) on this process. Rapid membrane/cytosol exchange is shown by swift (t1/2 ∼20 s) loss of Golgi-localized p115-green fluorescent protein (GFP) after repeated photobleaching of cell periphery and rapid (t 1/2 ∼13 s) fluorescence recovery after photobleaching Golgi-localized p115-GFP. p115 mutant missing the GM130/giantin binding site exhibits analogous fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) (t 1/2 ∼13 s), suggesting that GM130 and giantin are not major determinants of p115 membrane dynamics. In contrast, p115-GFP exchanges more rapidly (t1/2 -8 s) in cells expressing the inactive Rab1/N121I mutant, indicating that p115 cycling is influenced by Rab1. p115-GFP dynamics is also influenced by the assembly status of SNAREs. In cells expressing an ATPase-deficient NSF/E329Q mutant that inhibits SNARE complex disassembly, the cycling kinetics of p115-GFP are significantly slower (t1/2 ∼21 s). In contrast, in cells incubated at reduced temperature (10°C) that inhibits vesicular traffic, the cycling kinetics of p115-GFP are faster (t 1/2 -7 s). These data suggest that p115-binding sites on the membrane are provided by unassembled SNAREs. In agreement, biochemical studies show increased p115 recruitment to membranes in the presence of NSF and α-SNAP. Our data support a model in which recruitment of tethers is directly regulated by the assembly status of SNAREs. © 2006 by The American Society for Cell Biology.