Abrogating Munc18-1-SNARE complex interaction has limited impact on exocytosis in PC12 cells.
ABSTRACT: Neuronal communication relies on the fusion of neurotransmitter-containing vesicles with the plasma membrane. The soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins initiate membrane fusion through the formation of the SNARE complex, a process tightly regulated by Sec1/Munc18-1 (SM) proteins. The emerging trend is that SM proteins promote SNARE-mediated membrane fusion by binding to a Syntaxin N-terminal motif. Here we report that mutations in the hydrophobic pocket of Munc18-1 (F115E and E132A), predicted to disrupt the N-terminal Sx1a interaction have a modest effect on binding to Sx1a in its free state, but abolish binding to the SNARE complex. Overexpression of the Munc18-1 mutant in PC12 cells lacking Munc18-1 rescues both neuroexocytosis and the plasma membrane localization of Syntaxin. However, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy analysis reveals that expression of a Munc18-1 double mutant reduces the rate of vesicle fusion, an effect only detectable at the onset of stimulation. The Munc18-1 hydrophobic pocket is therefore critical for SNARE complex binding. However, mutations abrogating this interaction have a limited impact on Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis in PC12 cells.
Project description:Munc18-1 and syntaxin-1A control SNARE-dependent neuroexocytosis and are organized in nanodomains on the plasma membrane of neurons and neurosecretory cells. Deciphering the intra- and intermolecular steps via which they prepare secretory vesicles (SVs) for fusion is key to understanding neuronal and hormonal communication. Here, we demonstrate that expression of a priming-deficient mutant lacking 17 residues of the domain 3a hinge-loop (Munc18-1(Δ317-333)) in PC12 cells engineered to knockdown Munc18-1/2 markedly prolonged SV docking. Single-molecule analysis revealed nonhomogeneous diffusion of Munc18-1 and syntaxin-1A in and out of partially overlapping nanodomains. Whereas Munc18-1(WT) mobility increased in response to stimulation, syntaxin-1A became less mobile. These Munc18-1 and syntaxin-1A diffusional switches were blocked by the expression of Munc18-1(Δ317-333), suggesting that a conformational change in the Munc18-1 hinge-loop controls syntaxin-1A and subsequent SNARE complex assembly. Accordingly, syntaxin-1A confinement was prevented by expression of botulinum neurotoxin type E. The Munc18-1 domain 3a hinge-loop therefore controls syntaxin-1A engagement into SNARE complex formation during priming.
Project description:Both SM proteins (for Sec1/Munc18-like proteins) and SNARE proteins (for soluble NSF-attachment protein receptors) are essential for intracellular membrane fusion, but the general mechanism of coupling between their functions is unclear, in part because diverse SM protein/SNARE binding modes have been described. During synaptic vesicle exocytosis, the SM protein Munc18-1 is known to bind tightly to the SNARE protein syntaxin-1, but only when syntaxin-1 is in a closed conformation that is incompatible with SNARE complex formation. We now show that Munc18-1 also binds tightly to assembled SNARE complexes containing syntaxin-1. The newly discovered Munc18-1/SNARE complex interaction involves contacts of Munc18-1 with the N-terminal H(abc) domain of syntaxin-1 and the four-helical bundle of the assembled SNARE complex. Together with earlier studies, our results suggest that binding of Munc18-1 to closed syntaxin-1 is a specialization that evolved to meet the strict regulatory requirements of neuronal exocytosis, whereas binding of Munc18-1 to assembled SNARE complexes reflects a general function of SM proteins involved in executing membrane fusion.
Project description:Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins promote intracellular vesicle fusion by binding to N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs). A key SNARE-binding mode of SM proteins involves the N-terminal peptide (N-peptide) motif of syntaxin, a SNARE subunit localized to the target membrane. In in vitro membrane fusion assays, inhibition of N-peptide motif binding previously has been shown to abrogate the stimulatory function of Munc18-1, a SM protein involved in synaptic exocytosis in neurons. The physiological role of the N-peptide-binding mode, however, remains unclear. In this work, we addressed this key question using a "clogged" Munc18-1 protein, in which an ectopic copy of the syntaxin N-peptide motif was directly fused to Munc18-1. We found that the ectopic N-peptide motif blocks the N-peptide-binding pocket of Munc18-1, preventing the latter from binding to the native N-peptide motif on syntaxin-1. In a reconstituted system, we observed that clogged Munc18-1 is defective in promoting SNARE zippering. When introduced into induced neuronal cells (iN cells) derived from human pluripotent stem cells, clogged Munc18-1 failed to mediate synaptic exocytosis. As a result, both spontaneous and evoked synaptic transmission was abolished. These genetic findings provide direct evidence for the crucial role of the N-peptide-binding mode of Munc18-1 in synaptic exocytosis. We suggest that clogged SM proteins will also be instrumental in defining the physiological roles of the N-peptide-binding mode in other vesicle-fusion pathways.
Project description:Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins and soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) form part of the core intracellular membrane fusion machinery, but it is unclear how they cooperate in membrane fusion. The synaptic vesicle SNARE synaptobrevin and the plasma membrane SNAREs syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25 assemble into a tight SNARE complex that includes a four-helix bundle formed by their SNARE motifs and is key for fusion. The neuronal SM protein Munc18-1 binds to syntaxin-1 and to the SNARE complex through interactions with the syntaxin-1 N-terminal region that are critical for neurotransmitter release. It has been proposed that Munc18-1 also binds to synaptobrevin and to the SNARE four-helix bundle and that such interactions might be crucial for membrane fusion, but definitive, direct evidence of these interactions has not been described. Using diverse biophysical approaches, we now demonstrate that Munc18-1 indeed binds to synaptobrevin and to the SNARE four-helix bundle. Both interactions have similar affinities (in the low micromolar range) and appear to involve the same cavity of Munc18-1 that binds to syntaxin-1. Correspondingly, the N-terminal region of syntaxin-1 competes with the SNARE four-helix bundle and synaptobrevin for Munc18-1 binding. Importantly, the Munc18-1 binding site on synaptobrevin is located at the C-terminus of its SNARE motif, suggesting that this interaction places Munc18-1 right at the site where fusion occurs. These results suggest a model in which neurotransmitter release involves a sequence of three different types of Munc18-1-SNARE interactions and in which Munc18-1 plays a direct, active role in membrane fusion in cooperation with the SNAREs.
Project description:Membrane fusion is mediated by complexes formed by SNAP-receptor (SNARE) and Secretory 1 (Sec1)/mammalian uncoordinated-18 (Munc18)-like (SM) proteins, but it is unclear when and how these complexes assemble. Here we describe an improved two-color fluorescence nanoscopy technique that can achieve effective resolutions of up to 7.5-nm full width at half maximum (3.2-nm localization precision), limited only by stochastic photon emission from single molecules. We use this technique to dissect the spatial relationships between the neuronal SM protein Munc18-1 and SNARE proteins syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25 (25 kDa synaptosome-associated protein). Strikingly, we observed nanoscale clusters consisting of syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25 that contained associated Munc18-1. Rescue experiments with syntaxin-1 mutants revealed that Munc18-1 recruitment to the plasma membrane depends on the Munc18-1 binding to the N-terminal peptide of syntaxin-1. Our results suggest that in a primary neuron, SNARE/SM protein complexes containing syntaxin-1, SNAP-25, and Munc18-1 are preassembled in microdomains on the presynaptic plasma membrane. Our superresolution imaging method provides a framework for investigating interactions between the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery and other subcellular systems in situ.
Project description:Intracellular membrane fusion is mediated by the concerted action of N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) and Sec1/Munc18 (SM) proteins. During fusion, SM proteins bind the N-terminal peptide (N-peptide) motif of the SNARE subunit syntaxin, but the function of this interaction is unknown. Here, using FRET-based biochemical reconstitution and Caenorhabditis elegans genetics, we show that the N-peptide of syntaxin-1 recruits the SM protein Munc18-1/nSec1 to the SNARE bundle, facilitating their assembly into a fusion-competent complex. The recruitment is achieved through physical tethering rather than allosteric activation of Munc18-1. Consistent with the recruitment role, the N-peptide is not spatially constrained along syntaxin-1, and it is functional when translocated to another SNARE subunit SNAP-25 or even when simply anchored in the target membrane. The N-peptide function is restricted to an early initiation stage of the fusion reaction. After association, Munc18-1 and the SNARE bundle together drive membrane merging without further involving the N-peptide. Thus, the syntaxin N-peptide is an initiation factor for the assembly of the SNARE-SM membrane fusion complex.
Project description:The Sec1/Munc18 (SM) protein Munc18-1 and the SNAREs syntaxin-1, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin form the core of the membrane fusion machinery that triggers neurotransmitter release. Munc18-1 binds to syntaxin-1 folded into a closed conformation and to the SNARE complex formed by the three SNAREs, which involves an open syntaxin-1 conformation. The former interaction is likely specialized for neurotransmitter release, whereas SM protein/SNARE complex interactions are likely key for all types of intracellular membrane fusion. It is currently unclear whether the closed conformation is highly or only marginally populated in isolated syntaxin-1, and whether Munc18-1 stabilizes the close conformation or helps to open it to facilitate SNARE complex formation. A detailed NMR analysis now suggests that the closed conformation is almost quantitatively populated in isolated syntaxin-1 in the absence of oligomerization, and indicates that its structure is very similar to that observed previously in the crystal structure of the Munc18-1/syntaxin-1 complex. Moreover, we demonstrate that Munc18-1 binding prevents opening of the syntaxin-1 closed conformation. These results support a model whereby the closed conformation constitutes a key intrinsic property of isolated syntaxin-1 and Munc18-1 binding stabilizes this conformation; in this model, Munc18-1 plays in addition an active role in downstream events after another factor(s) helps to open the syntaxin-1 conformation.
Project description:Sec1/Munc18 (SM) family proteins are essential for every vesicle fusion pathway. The best-characterized SM protein is the synaptic factor Munc18-1, but it remains unclear whether its functions represent conserved mechanisms of SM proteins or specialized activities in neurotransmitter release. To address this question, we dissected Munc18c, a functionally distinct SM protein involved in nonsynaptic exocytic pathways. We discovered that Munc18c binds to the trans-SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) complex and strongly accelerates the fusion rate. Further analysis suggests that Munc18c recognizes both vesicle-rooted SNARE and target membrane-associated SNAREs, and promotes trans-SNARE zippering at the postdocking stage of the fusion reaction. The stimulation of fusion by Munc18c is specific to its cognate SNARE isoforms. Because Munc18-1 regulates fusion in a similar manner, we conclude that one conserved function of SM proteins is to bind their cognate trans-SNARE complexes and accelerate fusion kinetics. Munc18c also binds syntaxin-4 monomer but does not block target membrane-associated SNARE assembly, in agreement with our observation that six- to eightfold increases in Munc18c expression do not inhibit insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in adipocytes. Thus, the inhibitory "closed" syntaxin binding mode demonstrated for Munc18-1 is not conserved in Munc18c. Unexpectedly, we found that Munc18c recognizes the N-terminal region of the vesicle-rooted SNARE, whereas Munc18-1 requires the C-terminal sequences, suggesting that the architecture of the SNARE/SM complex likely differs across fusion pathways. Together, these comparative studies of two distinct SM proteins reveal conserved as well as divergent mechanisms of SM family proteins in intracellular vesicle fusion.
Project description:Sec1/Munc18-family (SM) proteins are required for SNARE-mediated membrane fusion, but their mechanism(s) of action remain controversial. Using single-molecule force spectroscopy, we found that the SM protein Munc18-1 catalyzes step-wise zippering of three synaptic SNAREs (syntaxin, VAMP2, and SNAP-25) into a four-helix bundle. Catalysis requires formation of an intermediate template complex in which Munc18-1 juxtaposes the N-terminal regions of the SNARE motifs of syntaxin and VAMP2, while keeping their C-terminal regions separated. SNAP-25 binds the templated SNAREs to induce full SNARE zippering. Munc18-1 mutations modulate the stability of the template complex in a manner consistent with their effects on membrane fusion, indicating that chaperoned SNARE assembly is essential for exocytosis. Two other SM proteins, Munc18-3 and Vps33, similarly chaperone SNARE assembly via a template complex, suggesting that SM protein mechanism is conserved.
Project description:Intracellular membrane fusion steps in eukaryotes require the syntaxin family of SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein-attachment protein receptor) proteins. Syntaxins are regulated at several levels through interactions with regulatory proteins, including the SM (Sec1p/Munc18) proteins. Key to understanding this regulation is the characterization of different SM-syntaxin binding interactions at the molecular level and in terms of their contribution to function in vivo. The most conserved SM-syntaxin binding mode is through interaction of the syntaxin's extreme N-terminal peptide with a hydrophobic pocket on the surface of the SM protein. Surprisingly, mutant versions of two different SM proteins abrogated for this binding display no discernable phenotypes in vivo. In this issue of the Biochemical Journal, Johnson et al. demonstrate that loss of the N-terminal binding interaction between the syntaxin UNC-64 and the SM protein UNC-18 severely impairs neuromuscular synaptic transmission in Caenorhabditis elegans, resulting in an unco-ordinated phenotype. In contrast, loss of a second mode of SM-syntaxin binding has no detectable effect. Collectively, these results suggest that, although different membrane trafficking steps are all regulated by SM-syntaxin interactions using similar binding modes, they are differentially regulated, highlighting the need for careful dissection of the binding modes.