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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Sep 17;93(19):10471-6.

SNAP-25 and synaptotagmin involvement in the final Ca(2+)-dependent triggering of neurotransmitter exocytosis.

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  • 1Department of Neuropharmacology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


In neurons, depolarization induces Ca2+ influx leading to fusion of synaptic vesicles docked at the active zone for neurotransmitter release. While a number of proteins have now been identified and postulated to participate in the assembly and subsequent disengagement of a vesicle docking complex for fusion, the mechanism that ultimately triggers neuroexocytosis remains elusive. Using a cell-free, lysed synaptosomal membrane preparation, we show that Ca2+ alone is sufficient to trigger secretion of glutamate and furthermore that Ca(2+)-signaled exocytosis is effectively blocked by antibodies and peptides to SNAP-25, a key constituent of the vesicle docking complex. In addition, Ca2+ inhibits the ability of synaptotagmin, a synaptic vesicle protein proposed as a calcium sensor and triggering device, to associate with this docking complex. These results support a model in which Ca(2+)-dependent triggering of neurotransmission at central synapses acts after ATP-dependent potentiation of the docking-fusion complex for membrane fusion.

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