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Science. 2002 Mar 22;295(5563):2276-9.

Neuronal calcium sensor 1 and activity-dependent facilitation of P/Q-type calcium currents at presynaptic nerve terminals.

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  • 1Department of Neurophysiology, University of Tokyo Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. tujimoto-tky@umin.ac.jp


P/Q-type presynaptic calcium currents (IpCa) undergo activity-dependent facilitation during repetitive activation at the calyx of the Held synapse. We investigated whether neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS-1) may underlie this phenomenon. Direct loading of NCS-1 into the nerve terminal mimicked activity-dependent IpCa facilitation by accelerating the activation time of IpCa in a Ca2+-dependent manner. A presynaptically loaded carboxyl-terminal peptide of NCS-1 abolished IpCa facilitation. These results suggest that residual Ca2+ activates endogenous NCS-1, thereby facilitating IpCa. Because both P/Q-type Ca2+ channels and NCS-1 are widely expressed in mammalian nerve terminals, NCS-1 may contribute to the activity-dependent synaptic facilitation at many synapses.

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