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Biochem J. 2013 Jul 1;453(1):37-47. doi: 10.1042/BJ20130391.

Identification of the SV2 protein receptor-binding site of botulinum neurotoxin type E.

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Institut für Biochemie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany.


The highly specific binding and uptake of BoNTs (botulinum neurotoxins; A-G) into peripheral cholinergic motoneurons turns them into the most poisonous substances known. Interaction with gangliosides accumulates the neurotoxins on the plasma membrane and binding to a synaptic vesicle membrane protein leads to neurotoxin endocytosis. SV2 (synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2) mediates the uptake of BoNT/A and /E, whereas Syt (synaptotagmin) is responsible for the endocytosis of BoNT/B and /G. The Syt-binding site of the former was identified by co-crystallization and mutational analyses. In the present study we report the identification of the SV2-binding interface of BoNT/E. Mutations interfering with SV2 binding were located at a site that corresponds to the Syt-binding site of BoNT/B and at an extended surface area located on the back of the conserved ganglioside-binding site, comprising the N- and C-terminal half of the BoNT/E-binding domain. Mutations impairing the affinity also reduced the neurotoxicity of full-length BoNT/E at mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm preparations demonstrating the crucial role of the identified binding interface. Furthermore, we show that a monoclonal antibody neutralizes BoNT/E activity because it directly interferes with the BoNT/E-SV2 interaction. The results of the present study suggest a novel mode of binding for BoNTs that exploit SV2 as a cell surface receptor.

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