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Nat Neurosci. 2009 Oct;12(10):1257-65. doi: 10.1038/nn.2383. Epub 2009 Aug 30.

Presynaptic CaV2 calcium channel traffic requires CALF-1 and the alpha(2)delta subunit UNC-36.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, USA.


Presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels provide calcium for synaptic vesicle exocytosis. We show here that a green fluorescent protein-tagged alpha(1) subunit of the Caenorhabditis elegans CaV2 channel, UNC-2, is localized to presynaptic active zones of sensory and motor neurons. Synaptic localization of CaV2 requires the alpha(2)delta subunit UNC-36 and CALF-1 (Calcium Channel Localization Factor-1), a neuronal transmembrane protein that localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum. In calf-1 mutants, UNC-2 is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum, but other active-zone components and synaptic vesicles are delivered to synapses. Acute induction of calf-1 mobilizes preexisting UNC-2 for delivery to synapses, consistent with a direct trafficking role. The alpha(2)delta subunit UNC-36 is likewise required for exit of UNC-2 from endoplasmic reticulum but has additional functions. Genetic and cell biological interactions suggest that CALF-1 couples intracellular traffic to functional maturation of CaV2 presynaptic calcium channels.

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