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J Neurosci. 2010 May 12;30(19):6559-76. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3701-09.2010.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent binding of the neuronal Ca2+ sensor protein GCAP2 to photoreceptor synaptic ribbons.

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Department of Neuroanatomy, Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Saarland University Medical School, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.


Guanylate cyclase activating protein 2 (GCAP2) is a recoverin-like Ca2+-sensor protein known to modulate guanylate cyclase activity in photoreceptor outer segments. GCAP2 is also present in photoreceptor ribbon synapses where its function is unknown. Synaptic ribbons are active zone-associated presynaptic structures in the tonically active photoreceptor ribbon synapses and contain RIBEYE as a unique and major protein component. In the present study, we demonstrate by various independent approaches that GCAP2 specifically interacts with RIBEYE in photoreceptor synapses. We show that the flexible hinge 2 linker region of RIBEYE(B) domain that connects the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)-binding subdomain with the substrate-binding subdomain (SBD) binds to the C terminus of GCAP2. We demonstrate that the RIBEYE-GCAP2 interaction is induced by the binding of NADH to RIBEYE. RIBEYE-GCAP2 interaction is modulated by the SBD. GCAP2 is strongly expressed in synaptic terminals of light-adapted photoreceptors where GCAP2 is found close to synaptic ribbons as judged by confocal microscopy and proximity ligation assays. Virus-mediated overexpression of GCAP2 in photoreceptor synaptic terminals leads to a reduction in the number of synaptic ribbons. Therefore, GCAP2 is a prime candidate for mediating Ca2+-dependent dynamic changes of synaptic ribbons in photoreceptor synapses.

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