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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Apr;22(4):454-66.

Dynamics of motor nerve terminal remodeling unveiled using SNARE-cleaving botulinum toxins: the extent and duration are dictated by the sites of SNAP-25 truncation.

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Centre for Neurobiochemistry, Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London SW7 2AY, UK.


Nerve sprouts emerge from motor nerve terminals following blockade of exo-endocytosis for more than 3 days by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and form functional synapses, albeit temporary. Upon restoration of synaptic activity to the parent terminal 7 and 90 days after exposure to BoNT/F or A respectively, a concomitant retraction of the outgrowths was observed. BoNT/E caused short-term neuroparalysis, and dramatically accelerated the recovery of BoNT/A-paralyzed muscle by further truncation of SNAP-25 and its replenishment with functional full-length SNARE. The removal of 9 C-terminal residues from SNAP-25 by BoNT/A leads to persistence of the inhibitory product due to the formation of a nonproductive SNARE complex(es) at release sites, whereas deletion of a further 17 amino acids permits replenishment and a speedy recovery.

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