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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2003 Jun;13(3):315-23.

Is synaptotagmin the calcium sensor?

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  • 1Picower Center for Learning and Memory and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


After much debate, recent progress indicates that the synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin I probably functions as the calcium sensor for synchronous neurotransmitter release. Following calcium influx into presynaptic terminals, synaptotagmin I rapidly triggers the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane and underlies the fourth-order calcium cooperativity of release. Biochemical and genetic studies suggest that lipid and SNARE interactions underlie synaptotagmin's ability to mediate the incredible speed of vesicle fusion that is the hallmark of fast synaptic transmission.

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