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Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Dec;20(24):5086-95. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E09-08-0691.

Phosphatidylserine regulation of Ca2+-triggered exocytosis and fusion pores in PC12 cells.

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Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Graduate Program, University of Wisconsin School of Public Health, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin I (Syt I) binds phosphatidylserine (PS) in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. This interaction is thought to play a role in exocytosis, but its precise functions remain unclear. To determine potential roles for Syt I-PS binding, we varied the PS content in PC12 cells and liposomes and studied the effects on the kinetics of exocytosis and Syt I binding in parallel. Raising PS produced a steeply nonlinear, saturating increase in Ca(2+)-triggered fusion, and a graded slowing of the rate of fusion pore dilation. Ca(2+)-Syt I bound liposomes more tightly as PS content was raised, with a steep increase in binding at low PS, and a further gradual increase at higher PS. These two phases in the PS dependence of Ca(2+)-dependent Syt I binding to lipid may correspond to the two distinct and opposing kinetic effects of PS on exocytosis. PS influences exocytosis in two ways, enhancing an early step leading to fusion pore opening, and slowing a later step when fusion pores dilate. The possible relevance of these results to Ca(2+)-triggered Syt I binding is discussed along with other possible roles of PS.

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