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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. May 1985; 82(9): 3035–3039.
PMCID: PMC397701

Intraterminal injection of synapsin I or calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alters neurotransmitter release at the squid giant synapse.

Abstract

Synapsin I and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II were pressure-injected into the preterminal digit of the squid giant synapse to test directly the possible regulation of neurotransmitter release by these substances. Neurotransmitter release was determined by measuring the amplitude, rate of rise, and latency of the postsynaptic potential generated in response to presynaptic depolarizing steps under voltage clamp conditions. Injection of dephosphosynapsin I decreased the amplitude and rate of rise of the postsynaptic potential, whereas injection of either phosphosynapsin I or heat-treated dephosphosynapsin I was without effect. Conversely, injection of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, which phosphorylates synapsin I on site II, increased the rate of rise and amplitude and decreased the latency of the postsynaptic potential. The effects of these proteins were observed without any detectable change in the initial phase of the presynaptic calcium current. A synapsin I-like protein and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II were demonstrated by biochemical and immunochemical techniques to be present in squid nervous tissue. The data support the hypothesis that synapsin I regulates the availability of synaptic vesicles for release; we propose that calcium entry into the nerve terminal activates calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, which phosphorylates synapsin I on site II, dissociating it from the vesicles and thereby removing a constraint in the release process.

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Selected References

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