Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Neurosci. 2009 Jun;12(6):759-66. doi: 10.1038/nn.2320.

Synaptotagmin-1 functions as a Ca2+ sensor for spontaneous release.

Author information

Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA.


Spontaneous 'mini' release occurs at all synapses, but its nature remains enigmatic. We found that >95% of spontaneous release in murine cortical neurons was induced by Ca2+-binding to synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1), the Ca2+ sensor for fast synchronous neurotransmitter release. Thus, spontaneous and evoked release used the same Ca2+-dependent release mechanism. As a consequence, Syt1 mutations that altered its Ca2+ affinity altered spontaneous and evoked release correspondingly. Paradoxically, Syt1 deletions (as opposed to point mutations) massively increased spontaneous release. This increased spontaneous release remained Ca2+ dependent but was activated at lower Ca2+ concentrations and with a lower Ca2+ cooperativity than synaptotagmin-driven spontaneous release. Thus, in addition to serving as a Ca2+ sensor for spontaneous and evoked release, Syt1 clamped a second, more sensitive Ca2+ sensor for spontaneous release that resembles the Ca2+ sensor for evoked asynchronous release. These data suggest that Syt1 controls both evoked and spontaneous release at a synapse as a simultaneous Ca2+-dependent activator and clamp of exocytosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center