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J Neurochem. 1999 Dec;73(6):2424-33.

Botulinum neurotoxin E-insensitive mutants of SNAP-25 fail to bind VAMP but support exocytosis.

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1
Centro CNR Biomembrane and Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy.

Abstract

Neurotransmitter release from synaptic vesicles is mediated by complex machinery, which includes the v- and t-SNAP receptors (SNAREs), vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP), synaptotagmin, syntaxin, and synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25). They are essential for neurotransmitter exocytosis because they are the proteolytic substrates of the clostridial neurotoxins tetanus neurotoxin and botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which cause tetanus and botulism, respectively. Specifically, SNAP-25 is cleaved by both BoNT/A and E at separate sites within the COOH-terminus. We now demonstrate, using toxin-insensitive mutants of SNAP-25, that these two toxins differ in their specificity for the cleavage site. Following modification within the COOH-terminus, the mutants completely resistant to BoNT/E do not bind VAMP but were still able to form a sodium dodecyl sulfate-resistant complex with VAMP and syntaxin. Furthermore, these mutants retain function in vivo, conferring BoNT/E-resistant exocytosis to transfected PC12 cells. These data provide information on structural requirements within the C-terminal domain of SNAP-25 for its function in exocytosis and raise doubts about the significance of in vitro binary interactions for the in vivo functions of synaptic protein complexes.

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