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Neuron. 2010 Nov 18;68(4):724-38. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.10.027.

Bassoon and the synaptic ribbon organize Ca²+ channels and vesicles to add release sites and promote refilling.

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1
InnerEarLab, Department of Otolaryngology and Center for Molecular Physiology of the Brain, University of Göttingen Medical Center, 37099 Göttingen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Neuron. 2010 Dec 22;68(6):1202. Fetjova, Anna [corrected to Fejtova, Anna].

Abstract

At the presynaptic active zone, Ca²+ influx triggers fusion of synaptic vesicles. It is not well understood how Ca²+ channel clustering and synaptic vesicle docking are organized. Here, we studied structure and function of hair cell ribbon synapses following genetic disruption of the presynaptic scaffold protein Bassoon. Mutant synapses--mostly lacking the ribbon--showed a reduction in membrane-proximal vesicles, with ribbonless synapses affected more than ribbon-occupied synapses. Ca²+ channels were also fewer at mutant synapses and appeared in abnormally shaped clusters. Ribbon absence reduced Ca²+ channel numbers at mutant and wild-type synapses. Fast and sustained exocytosis was reduced, notwithstanding normal coupling of the remaining Ca²+ channels to exocytosis. In vitro recordings revealed a slight impairment of vesicle replenishment. Mechanistic modeling of the in vivo data independently supported morphological and functional in vitro findings. We conclude that Bassoon and the ribbon (1) create a large number of release sites by organizing Ca²+ channels and vesicles, and (2) promote vesicle replenishment.

PMID:
21092861
PMCID:
PMC3005353
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2010.10.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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