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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A possible docking and fusion particle for synaptic transmission.

Several proteins have been implicated in the rapid (millisecond) calcium-controlled release of transmitters at nerve endings, including soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein ( NSF) and soluble NSF attachment protein (alpha-SNAP), the synaptic SNAP receptor (SNARE) and the calcium-binding protein synaptotagmin, which may function as a calcium sensor in exocytosis. A second SNAP isoform (beta-SNAP), which is 83% identical to alpha-SNAP, is highly expressed in brain, but its role is still unclear. Here we show that these proteins assemble cooperatively to form a docking and fusion complex. beta-SNAP (but not alpha-SNAP) binds synaptotagmin and recruits NSF, indicating that the complex may link the process of membrane fusion to calcium entry by attaching a specialized fusion protein (beta-SNAP) to a calcium sensor (synaptotagmin). Polyphosphoinositols that block transmitter release, inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate (InsP4), inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate (InsP5) and inositol 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate (InsP6), also block the assembly of the particle by preventing beta-SNAP from binding to synaptotagmin.[1]


  1. A possible docking and fusion particle for synaptic transmission. Schiavo, G., Gmachl, M.J., Stenbeck, G., Söllner, T.H., Rothman, J.E. Nature (1995) [Pubmed]
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