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J Neurochem. 2013 Jul;126(1):37-46. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12278. Epub 2013 May 15.

Synaptotagmin 1 is required for vesicular Ca²⁺/H⁺-antiport activity.

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Neurosciences Fondamentales, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Genève, Genève, Switzerland.


A low-affinity Ca²⁺/H⁺-antiport was described in the membrane of mammalian brain synaptic vesicles. Electrophysiological studies showed that this antiport contributes to the extreme brevity of excitation-release coupling in rapid synapses. Synaptotagmin-1, a vesicular protein interacting with membranes upon low-affinity Ca²⁺-binding, plays a major role in excitation-release coupling, by synchronizing calcium entry with fast neurotransmitter release. Here, we report that synaptotagmin-1 is necessary for expression of the vesicular Ca²⁺/H⁺-antiport. We measured Ca²⁺/H⁺-antiport activity in vesicles and granules of pheochromocytoma PC12 cells by three methods: (i) Ca²⁺-induced dissipation of the vesicular H⁺-gradient; (ii) bafilomycin-sensitive calcium accumulation and (iii) pH-jump-induced calcium accumulation. The results were congruent and highly significant: Ca²⁺/H⁺-antiport activity is detectable only in acidic organelles expressing functional synaptotagmin-1. In contrast, synaptotagmin-1-deficient cells--and cells where transgenically encoded synaptotagmin-1 was acutely photo-inactivated--were devoid of any Ca²⁺/H⁺-antiport activity. Therefore, in addition to its previously described functions, synaptotagmin-1 is involved in a rapid vesicular Ca²⁺ sequestration through a Ca²⁺/H⁺ antiport.

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