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Mol Neurobiol. 2009 Feb;39(1):62-72. doi: 10.1007/s12035-009-8052-5. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

The Ca(2+)-dependent activator protein for secretion CAPS: do I dock or do I prime?

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Physiologisches Institut, Universität des Saarlandes, Gebäude 59, Kirrberger Str. 8, 66421, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


The "Ca(2+)-dependent activator protein for secretion" (CAPS) is a protein which reconstitutes regulated secretion in permeabilized neuroendocrine cells. It is generally accepted that CAPS plays an important role in the release of the contents of dense core vesicles in the nervous system as well as in a variety of other secretory tissues. At which step in the exocytotic process CAPS functions as well as its role in the fusion of synaptic vesicles is still under dispute. A recent growth spurt in the CAPS field has been fueled by genetic approaches in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila as well as the application of knockout and knockdown approaches in mouse cells and in cell lines, respectively. We have attempted to review the body of work that established CAPS as an important regulator of secretion and to describe new information that has furthered our understanding of how CAPS may function. We discuss the conclusions, point out areas where controversy remains, and suggest directions for future experiments.

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