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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46748. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046748. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Negative coupling as a mechanism for signal propagation between C2 domains of synaptotagmin I.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States of America.


Synaptotagmin I (Syt I) is a vesicle-localized protein implicated in sensing the calcium influx that triggers fast synchronous release of neurotransmitter. How Syt I utilizes its two C2 domains to integrate signals and mediate neurotransmission has continued to be a controversial area of research, though prevalent hypotheses favor independent function. Using differential scanning calorimetry and fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy in a thermodynamic denaturation approach, we tested an alternative hypothesis in which both domains interact to cooperatively disseminate binding information. The free energy of stability was determined for C2A, C2B, and C2AB constructs by globally fitting both methods to a two-state model of unfolding. By comparing the additive free energies of C2A and C2B with C2AB, we identified a negative coupling interaction between the C2 domains of Syt I. This interaction not only provides a mechanistic means for propagating signals, but also a possible means for coordinating the molecular events of neurotransmission.

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