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Neuron. 2003 Jan 9;37(1):99-108.

Sr2+ binding to the Ca2+ binding site of the synaptotagmin 1 C2B domain triggers fast exocytosis without stimulating SNARE interactions.

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Center for Basic Neuroscience, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


Sr(2+) triggers neurotransmitter release similar to Ca(2+), but less efficiently. We now show that in synaptotagmin 1 knockout mice, the fast component of both Ca(2+)- and Sr(2+)-induced release is selectively impaired, suggesting that both cations partly act by binding to synaptotagmin 1. Both the C(2)A and the C(2)B domain of synaptotagmin 1 bind Ca(2+) in phospholipid complexes, but only the C(2)B domain forms Sr(2+)/phospholipid complexes; therefore, Sr(2+) binding to the C(2)B domain is sufficient to trigger fast release, although with decreased efficacy. Ca(2+) induces binding of the synaptotagmin C(2) domains to SNARE proteins, whereas Sr(2+) even at high concentrations does not. Thus, triggering of the fast component of release by Sr(2+) as a Ca(2+) agonist involves the formation of synaptotagmin/phospholipid complexes, but does not require stimulated SNARE binding.

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