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Dynamic Ca2+-Dependent Stimulation of Vesicle Fusion by Membrane-Anchored Synaptotagmin 1

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Science  07 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5979, pp. 760-763
DOI: 10.1126/science.1187722

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Abstract

In neurons, synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is thought to mediate the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane when presynaptic Ca2+ levels rise. However, in vitro reconstitution experiments have failed to recapitulate key characteristics of Ca2+-triggered membrane fusion. Using an in vitro single-vesicle fusion assay, we found that membrane-anchored Syt1 enhanced Ca2+ sensitivity and fusion speed. This stimulatory activity of membrane-anchored Syt1 dropped as the Ca2+ level rose beyond physiological levels. Thus, Syt1 requires the membrane anchor to stimulate vesicle fusion at physiological Ca2+ levels and may function as a dynamic presynaptic Ca2+ sensor to control the probability of neurotransmitter release.

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