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Neuron. 2001 Sep 27;31(6):987-99.

A trimeric protein complex functions as a synaptic chaperone machine.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.


We identify a chaperone complex composed of (1) the synaptic vesicle cysteine string protein (CSP), thought to function in neurotransmitter release, (2) the ubiquitous heat-shock protein cognate Hsc70, and (3) the SGT protein containing three tandem tetratricopeptide repeats. These three proteins interact with each other to form a stable trimeric complex that is located on the synaptic vesicle surface, and is disrupted in CSP knockout mice. The CSP/SGT/Hsc70 complex functions as an ATP-dependent chaperone that reactivates a denatured substrate. SGT overexpression in cultured neurons inhibits neurotransmitter release, suggesting that the CSP/SGT/Hsc70 complex is important for maintenance of a normal synapse. Taken together, our results identify a novel trimeric complex that functions as a synapse-specific chaperone machine.

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