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J Neurosci. 2013 Oct 23;33(43):17123-37. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1589-13.2013.

Deciphering dead-end docking of large dense core vesicles in bovine chromaffin cells.

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Physiologisches Institut, Universit├Ąt des Saarlandes, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.


Large dense core vesicle (LDCV) exocytosis in chromaffin cells follows a well characterized process consisting of docking, priming, and fusion. Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) studies suggest that some LDCVs, although being able to dock, are resistant to calcium-triggered release. This phenomenon termed dead-end docking has not been investigated until now. We characterized dead-end vesicles using a combination of membrane capacitance measurement and visualization of LDCVs with TIRFM. Stimulation of bovine chromaffin cells for 5 min with 6 ╬╝m free intracellular Ca2+ induced strong secretion and a large reduction of the LDCV density at the plasma membrane. Approximately 15% of the LDCVs were visible at the plasma membrane throughout experiments, indicating they were permanently docked dead-end vesicles. Overexpression of Munc18-2 or SNAP-25 reduced the fraction of dead-end vesicles. Conversely, expressing open-syntaxin increased the fraction of dead-end vesicles. These results indicate the existence of the unproductive target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor acceptor complex composed of 2:1 syntaxin-SNAP-25 in vivo. More importantly, they define a novel function for this acceptor complex in mediating dead-end docking.

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