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BMC Neurosci. 2008 Oct 29;9:105. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-9-105.

The role of the t-SNARE SNAP-25 in action potential-dependent calcium signaling and expression in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons.

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Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, USA.



The soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex, comprised of SNAP-25, syntaxin 1A, and VAMP-2, has been shown to be responsible for action potential (AP)-dependent, calcium-triggered release of several neurotransmitters. However, this basic fusogenic protein complex may be further specialized to suit the requirements for different neurotransmitter systems, as exemplified by neurons and neuroendocrine cells. In this study, we investigate the effects of SNAP-25 ablation on spontaneous neuronal activity and the expression of functionally distinct isoforms of this t-SNARE in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons of the adult brain.


We found that neurons cultured from Snap25 homozygous null mutant (Snap25-/-) mice failed to develop synchronous network activity seen as spontaneous AP-dependent calcium oscillations and were unable to trigger glial transients following depolarization. Voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) mediated calcium transients evoked by depolarization, nevertheless, did not differ between soma of SNAP-25 deficient and control neurons. Furthermore, we observed that although the expression of SNAP-25 RNA transcripts varied among neuronal populations in adult brain, the relative ratio of the transcripts encoding alternatively spliced SNAP-25 variant isoforms was not different in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons.


We propose that the SNAP-25b isoform is predominantly expressed by both mature glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and serves as a fundamental component of SNARE complex used for fast synaptic communication in excitatory and inhibitory circuits required for brain function. Moreover, SNAP-25 is required for neurons to establish AP-evoked synchronous network activity, as measured by calcium transients, whereas the loss of this t-SNARE does not affect voltage-dependent calcium entry.

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