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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Sep 25;98(20):11680-5. Epub 2001 Sep 18.

Intracellular calcium dependence of large dense-core vesicle exocytosis in the absence of synaptotagmin I.

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Department of Membrane Biophysics, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


Synaptotagmin I is a synaptic vesicle-associated protein essential for synchronous neurotransmission. We investigated its impact on the intracellular Ca(2+)-dependence of large dense-core vesicle (LDCV) exocytosis by combining Ca(2+)-uncaging and membrane capacitance measurements in adrenal slices from mouse synaptotagmin I null mutants. Synaptotagmin I-deficient chromaffin cells displayed prolonged exocytic delays and slow, yet Ca(2+)-dependent fusion rates, resulting in strongly reduced LDCV release in response to short depolarizations. Vesicle recruitment, the shape of individual amperometric events, and endocytosis appeared unaffected. These findings demonstrate that synaptotagmin I is required for rapid, highly Ca(2+)-sensitive LDCV exocytosis and indicate that it regulates the equilibrium between a slowly releasable and a readily releasable state of the fusion machinery. Alternatively, synaptotagmin I could function as calcium sensor for the readily releasable pool, leading to the destabilization of the pool in its absence.

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