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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Oct 14;105(41):16003-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0804825105. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Role of Rab27 in synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse.

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Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Small GTPase Rab is a member of a large family of Ras-related proteins, highly conserved in eukaryotic cells, and thought to regulate specific type(s) and/or specific step(s) in intracellular membrane trafficking. Given our interest in synaptic transmission, we addressed the possibility that Rab27 (a close isoform of Rab3) could be involved in cytosolic synaptic vesicle mobilization. Indeed, preterminal injection of a specific antibody against squid Rab27 (anti-sqRab27 antibody) combined with confocal microscopy demonstrated that Rab27 is present on squid synaptic vesicles. Electrophysiological study of injected synapses showed that the anti-sqRab27 antibody inhibited synaptic release in a stimulation-dependent manner without affecting presynaptic action potentials or inward Ca(2+) current. This result was confirmed in in vitro synaptosomes by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Thus, synaptosomal Ca(2+)-stimulated release of FM1-43 dye was greatly impaired by intraterminal anti-sqRab27 antibody. Ultrastructural analysis of the injected giant preterminal further showed a reduced number of docked synaptic vesicles and an increase in nondocked vesicular profiles distant from the active zone. These results, taken together, indicate that Rab27 is primarily involved in the maturation of recycled vesicles and/or their transport to the presynaptic active zone in the squid giant synapse.

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