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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11;105(10):3998-4003. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0712373105. Epub 2008 Feb 28.

Synaptotagmin-1 and -7 are functionally overlapping Ca2+ sensors for exocytosis in adrenal chromaffin cells.

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Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.


Synaptotagmin-1, the canonical isoform of the synaptotagmin family, is a Ca(2+) sensor for fast synchronous neurotransmitter release in forebrain neurons and chromaffin cells. Even though deletion of synaptotagmin-1 abolishes fast exocytosis in chromaffin cells, it reduces overall secretion by only 20% because of the persistence of slow exocytosis. Therefore, another Ca(2+) sensor dominates release in these cells. Synaptotagmin-7 has a higher Ca(2+) affinity and slower binding kinetics than synaptotagmin-1, matching the proposed properties for the second, slower Ca(2+) sensor. Here, we examined Ca(2+)-triggered exocytosis in chromaffin cells from KO mice lacking synaptotagmin-7, and from knockin mice containing normal levels of a mutant synaptotagmin-7 whose C(2)B domain does not bind Ca(2+). In both types of mutant chromaffin cells, Ca(2+)-triggered exocytosis was decreased dramatically. Moreover, in chromaffin cells lacking both synaptotagmin-1 and -7, only a very slow release component, accounting for approximately 30% of WT exocytosis, persisted. These data establish synaptotagmin-7 as a major Ca(2+) sensor for exocytosis in chromaffin cells, which, together with synaptotagmin-1, mediates almost all of the Ca(2+) triggering of exocytosis in these cells, a surprising result, considering the lack of a role of synaptotagmin-7 in synaptic vesicle exocytosis.

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