Synaptotagmin I, a calcium-binding synaptic vesicle protein, is thought to act as the calcium sensor for fast neurotransmission, but what synaptotagmin I does, upon binding calcium, to trigger exocytosis is still unknown. To begin to examine the role of synaptotagmin I's interactions with calcium-dependent binding partners, three mutant versions of synaptotagmin I reported to affect calcium-dependent self-oligomerization (Y311N, K327A, and K326/327A) were expressed in cultured mouse hippocampal neurons lacking endogenous synaptotagmin I, and effects on neurotransmission were evaluated by comparison with transmission rescued by wild-type synaptotagmin I. All three mutants reduced transmitter release. To separate effects on calcium binding from effects on calcium-dependent oligomerization, we measured the calcium dependence of exocytosis for two of the mutants. Both showed apparent calcium affinity much lower than wild-type, a reduction sufficient to account for the neurotransmission defects. We conclude that self-oligomerization is unlikely to play any significant role in triggering synaptic vesicle exocytosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology