The calcium (Ca2+) regulation of neurotransmitter release is poorly understood. Here we investigated several aspects of this process in PC12 cells. We first showed that osmotic shock by 1 M sucrose stimulated rapid release of neurotransmitters from intact PC12 cells, indicating that most of the vesicles were docked at the plasma membrane. Second, we further investigated the mechanism of rescue of botulinum neurotoxin E inhibition of release by recombinant SNAP-25 COOH-terminal coil, which is known to be required in the triggering stage. We confirmed here that Ca2+ was required simultaneously with the SNAP-25 peptide, with no significant increase in release if either the peptide or Ca2+ was present during the priming stage as well as the triggering, suggesting that SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptor) complex assembly was involved in the final Ca2+-triggered event. Using this rescue system, we also identified a series of acidic surface SNAP-25 residues that rescued better than wild-type when mutated, due to broadened Ca 2+ sensitivity, suggesting that this charged patch may interact electrostatically with a negative regulator of membrane fusion. Finally, we showed that the previously demonstrated stimulation of exocytosis in this system by calmodulin required calcium binding, since calmodulin mutants defective in Ca2+-binding were not able to enhance release.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology