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Sci Signal. 2019 Feb 19;12(569). pii: eaat8595. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aat8595.

Disabling the Gβγ-SNARE interaction disrupts GPCR-mediated presynaptic inhibition, leading to physiological and behavioral phenotypes.

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Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that couple to Gi/o proteins modulate neurotransmission presynaptically by inhibiting exocytosis. Release of Gβγ subunits from activated G proteins decreases the activity of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs), decreasing excitability. A less understood Gβγ-mediated mechanism downstream of Ca2+ entry is the binding of Gβγ to SNARE complexes, which facilitate the fusion of vesicles with the cell plasma membrane in exocytosis. Here, we generated mice expressing a form of the SNARE protein SNAP25 with premature truncation of the C terminus and that were therefore partially deficient in this interaction. SNAP25Δ3 homozygote mice exhibited normal presynaptic inhibition by GABAB receptors, which inhibit VGCCs, but defective presynaptic inhibition by receptors that work directly on the SNARE complex, such as 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) 5-HT1b receptors and adrenergic α2a receptors. Simultaneously stimulating receptors that act through both mechanisms showed synergistic inhibitory effects. SNAP25Δ3 homozygote mice had various behavioral phenotypes, including increased stress-induced hyperthermia, defective spatial learning, impaired gait, and supraspinal nociception. These data suggest that the inhibition of exocytosis by Gi/o-coupled GPCRs through the Gβγ-SNARE interaction is a crucial component of numerous physiological and behavioral processes.


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