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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Jan;10(1):49-57. Epub 2006 Nov 26.

PKC-1 regulates secretion of neuropeptides.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Simches 7, Massachusetts General Hospital, 185 Cambridge St., Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


The secretion of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides is mediated by distinct organelles-synaptic vesicles (SVs) and dense-core vesicles (DCVs), respectively. Relatively little is known about the factors that differentially regulate SV and DCV secretion. Here we show that protein kinase C-1 (PKC-1), which is most similar to the vertebrate PKC eta and epsilon isoforms, regulates exocytosis of DCVs in Caenorhabditis elegans motor neurons. Mutants lacking PCK-1 activity had delayed paralysis induced by the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb, whereas mutants with increased PKC-1 activity had more rapid aldicarb-induced paralysis. Imaging and electrophysiological assays indicated that SV release occurred normally in pkc-1 mutants. By contrast, genetic analysis of aldicarb responses and imaging of fluorescently tagged neuropeptides indicated that mutants lacking PKC-1 had reduced neuropeptide secretion. Similar neuropeptide secretion defects were found in mutants lacking unc-31 (encoding the protein CAPS) or unc-13 (encoding Munc13). These results suggest that PKC-1 selectively regulates DCV release from neurons.

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