Elevated synaptic vesicle release probability in synaptophysin/gyrin family quadruple knockouts.
ABSTRACT: Synaptophysins 1 and 2 and synaptogyrins 1 and 3 constitute a major family of synaptic vesicle membrane proteins. Unlike other widely expressed synaptic vesicle proteins such as vSNAREs and synaptotagmins, the primary function has not been resolved. Here, we report robust elevation in the probability of release of readily releasable vesicles with both high and low release probabilities at a variety of synapse types from knockout mice missing all four family members. Neither the number of readily releasable vesicles, nor the timing of recruitment to the readily releasable pool was affected. The results suggest that family members serve as negative regulators of neurotransmission, acting directly at the level of exocytosis to dampen connection strength selectively when presynaptic action potentials fire at low frequency. The widespread expression suggests that chemical synapses may play a frequency filtering role in biological computation that is more elemental than presently envisioned. Editorial note:This article has been through an editorial process in which the authors decide how to respond to the issues raised during peer review. The Reviewing Editor's assessment is that all the issues have been addressed (see decision letter).
Project description:The presynaptic active zone is composed of a protein network that contains ELKS2alpha (a.k.a. CAST) as a central component. Here we demonstrate that in mice, deletion of ELKS2alpha caused a large increase in inhibitory, but not excitatory, neurotransmitter release, and potentiated the size, but not the properties, of the readily-releasable pool of vesicles at inhibitory synapses. Quantitative electron microscopy revealed that the ELKS2alpha deletion did not change the number of docked vesicles or other ultrastructural parameters of synapses, except for a small decrease in synaptic vesicle numbers. The ELKS2alpha deletion did, however, alter the excitatory/inhibitory balance and exploratory behaviors, possibly as a result of the increased synaptic inhibition. Thus, as opposed to previous studies indicating that ELKS2alpha is essential for mediating neurotransmitter release, our results suggest that ELKS2alpha normally restricts release and limits the size of the readily-releasable pool of synaptic vesicles at the active zone of inhibitory synapses.
Project description:Prompt recovery after intense activity is an essential feature of most mammalian synapses. Here we show that synapses with reduced expression of the presynaptic gene munc18-1 suffer from increased depression during intense stimulation at glutamatergic, GABAergic, and neuromuscular synapses. Conversely, munc18-1 overexpression makes these synapses recover faster. Concomitant changes in the readily releasable vesicle pool and its refill kinetics were found. The number of vesicles docked at the active zone and the total number of vesicles per terminal correlated with both munc18-1 expression levels and the size of the releasable vesicle pool. These data show that varying expression of a single gene controls synaptic recovery by modulating the number of docked, release-ready vesicles and thereby replenishment of the secretion capacity.
Project description:Endbulb of Held terminals of auditory nerve fibers (ANF) transmit auditory information at hundreds per second to bushy cells (BCs) in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN). Here, we studied the structure and function of endbulb synapses in mice that lack the presynaptic scaffold bassoon and exhibit reduced ANF input into the AVCN. Endbulb terminals and active zones were normal in number and vesicle complement. Postsynaptic densities, quantal size and vesicular release probability were increased while vesicle replenishment and the standing pool of readily releasable vesicles were reduced. These opposing effects canceled each other out for the first evoked EPSC, which showed unaltered amplitude. We propose that ANF activity deprivation drives homeostatic plasticity in the AVCN involving synaptic upscaling and increased intrinsic BC excitability. In vivo recordings from individual mutant BCs demonstrated a slightly improved response at sound onset compared to ANF, likely reflecting the combined effects of ANF convergence and homeostatic plasticity. Further, we conclude that bassoon promotes vesicular replenishment and, consequently, a large standing pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles at the endbulb synapse.
Project description:alpha-RIMs and Munc13s are active zone proteins that control priming of synaptic vesicles to a readily releasable state, and interact with each other via their N-terminal sequences. The alpha-RIM N-terminal sequence also binds to Rab3s (small synaptic vesicle GTPases), an interaction that regulates presynaptic plasticity. We now demonstrate that alpha-RIMs contain adjacent but separate Munc13- and Rab3-binding sites, allowing formation of a tripartite Rab3/RIM/Munc13 complex. Munc13 binding is mediated by the alpha-RIM zinc-finger domain. Elucidation of the three-dimensional structure of this domain by NMR spectroscopy facilitated the design of a mutation that abolishes alpha-RIM/Munc13 binding. Selective disruption of this interaction in the calyx of Held synapse decreased the size of the readily releasable vesicle pool. Our data suggest that the ternary Rab3/RIM/Munc13 interaction approximates synaptic vesicles to the priming machinery, providing a substrate for presynaptic plasticity. The modular architecture of alpha-RIMs, with nested binding sites for Rab3 and other targets, may be a general feature of Rab effectors that share homology with the alpha-RIM N-terminal sequence.
Project description:The number of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles released into the synaptic cleft with each action potential dictates the reliability of synaptic transmission. Variability of this fundamental property provides diversity of synaptic function across brain regions, but the source of this variability is unclear. The prevailing view is that release of a single (univesicular release, UVR) or multiple vesicles (multivesicular release, MVR) reflects variability in vesicle release probability, a notion that is well-supported by the calcium-dependence of release mode. However, using mouse brain slices, we now demonstrate that the number of vesicles released is regulated by the size of the readily-releasable pool, upstream of vesicle release probability. Our results point to a model wherein protein kinase A and its vesicle-associated target, synapsin, dynamically control release site occupancy to dictate the number of vesicles released without altering release probability. Together these findings define molecular mechanisms that control MVR and functional diversity of synaptic signaling.
Project description:Munc13s are presynaptic proteins that mediate synaptic vesicle priming and thereby control the size of the readily releasable pool of vesicles. During high synaptic activity, Munc13-1 and its closely related homolog, ubMunc13-2, bind Ca(2+)/calmodulin, resulting in enhanced priming activity and in changes of short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics. Here, we studied whether bMunc13-2 and Munc13-3, two remote isoforms of Munc13-1 with a neuronal subtype-specific expression pattern, mediate synaptic vesicle priming and regulate short-term synaptic plasticity in a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent manner. We identified a single functional Ca(2+)/calmodulin binding site in these isoforms and provide structural evidence that all Munc13s employ a common mode of interaction with calmodulin despite the lack of sequence homology between their Ca(2+)/calmodulin binding sites. Electrophysiological analysis showed that, during high-frequency activity, Ca(2+)/calmodulin binding positively regulates the priming activity of bMunc13-2 and Munc13-3, resulting in an increase in the size of the readily releasable pool of vesicles and subsequently in strong short-term synaptic enhancement of neurotransmission. We conclude that Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent regulation of priming activity is structurally and functionally conserved in all Munc13 proteins, and that the composition of Munc13 isoforms in a neuron differentially controls its short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics.
Project description:We use a genome-wide association of 1 million parental lifespans of genotyped subjects and data on mortality risk factors to validate previously unreplicated findings near CDKN2B-AS1, ATXN2/BRAP, FURIN/FES, ZW10, PSORS1C3, and 13q21.31, and identify and replicate novel findings near ABO, ZC3HC1, and IGF2R. We also validate previous findings near 5q33.3/EBF1 and FOXO3, whilst finding contradictory evidence at other loci. Gene set and cell-specific analyses show that expression in foetal brain cells and adult dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is enriched for lifespan variation, as are gene pathways involving lipid proteins and homeostasis, vesicle-mediated transport, and synaptic function. Individual genetic variants that increase dementia, cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer - but not other cancers - explain the most variance. Resulting polygenic scores show a mean lifespan difference of around five years of life across the deciles. Editorial note:This article has been through an editorial process in which the authors decide how to respond to the issues raised during peer review. The Reviewing Editor's assessment is that all the issues have been addressed (see decision letter).
Project description:Vesicle recycling is pivotal for maintaining reliable synaptic signaling, but its basic properties remain poorly understood. Here, we developed an approach to quantitatively analyze the kinetics of vesicle recycling with exquisite signal and temporal resolution at the calyx of Held synapse. The combination of this electrophysiological approach with electron microscopy revealed that ?80% of vesicles (?270,000 out of ?330,000) in the nerve terminal are involved in recycling. Under sustained stimulation, recycled vesicles start to be reused in tens of seconds when ?47% of the preserved vesicles in the recycling pool (RP) are depleted. The heterogeneity of vesicle recycling as well as two kinetic components of RP depletion revealed the existence of a replenishable pool of vesicles before the priming stage and led to a realistic kinetic model that assesses the size of the subpools of the RP. Thus, our study quantified the kinetics of vesicle recycling and kinetically dissected the whole vesicle pool in the calyceal terminal into the readily releasable pool (?0.6%), the readily priming pool (?46%), the premature pool (?33%), and the resting pool (?20%).
Project description:Endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicles after exocytosis is critical for nervous system function. At synapses of cultured neurons that lack the two "neuronal" dynamins, dynamin 1 and 3, smaller excitatory postsynaptic currents are observed due to an impairment of the fission reaction of endocytosis that results in an accumulation of arrested clathrin-coated pits and a greatly reduced synaptic vesicle number. Surprisingly, despite a smaller readily releasable vesicle pool and fewer docked vesicles, a strong facilitation, which correlated with lower vesicle release probability, was observed upon action potential stimulation at such synapses. Furthermore, although network activity in mutant cultures was lower, Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity was unexpectedly increased, consistent with the previous report of an enhanced state of synapsin 1 phosphorylation at CaMKII-dependent sites in such neurons. These changes were partially reversed by overnight silencing of synaptic activity with tetrodotoxin, a treatment that allows progression of arrested endocytic pits to synaptic vesicles. Facilitation was also counteracted by CaMKII inhibition. These findings reveal a mechanism aimed at preventing synaptic transmission failure due to vesicle depletion when recycling vesicle traffic is backed up by a defect in dynamin-dependent endocytosis and provide new insight into the coupling between endocytosis and exocytosis.
Project description:Synaptotagmin-1 and -7 constitute the main calcium sensors mediating SNARE-dependent exocytosis in mouse chromaffin cells, but the role of a closely related calcium-binding protein, Doc2b, remains enigmatic. We investigated its role in chromaffin cells using Doc2b knock-out mice and high temporal resolution measurements of exocytosis. We found that the calcium dependence of vesicle priming and release triggering remained unchanged, ruling out an obligatory role for Doc2b in those processes. However, in the absence of Doc2b, release was shifted from the readily releasable pool to the subsequent sustained component. Conversely, upon overexpression of Doc2b, the sustained component was largely inhibited whereas the readily releasable pool was augmented. Electron microscopy revealed an increase in the total number of vesicles upon Doc2b overexpression, ruling out vesicle depletion as the cause for the reduced sustained component. Further experiments showed that, in the absence of Doc2b, the refilling of the readily releasable vesicle pools is faster, but incomplete. Faster refilling leads to an increase in the sustained component as newly primed vesicles fuse while the [Ca(2+)]i following stimulation is still high. We conclude that Doc2b acts to inhibit vesicle priming during prolonged calcium elevations, thus protecting unprimed vesicles from fusing prematurely, and redirecting them to refill the readily releasable pool after relaxation of the calcium signal. In sum, Doc2b favors fast, synchronized release, and limits out-of-phase secretion.