Calcium-dependent self-association of synaptotagmin I

Cynthia K. Damer, Carl E. Creutz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synaptotagmin I, an integral membrane protein of secretory vesicles, appears to have an essential role in calcium-triggered hormone and neurotransmitter release. The large cytoplasmic domain of synaptotagmin I has two C2 domains that are thought to mediate calcium and phospholipid binding. A recombinant protein (p65 1-5) comprised of the cytoplasmic domain was previously shown to aggregate purified chromaffin granules and artificial phospholipid vesicles in a calcium-dependent manner. p65 1-5 may be able to aggregate membrane vesicles by a self-association reaction. This hypothesis led us to investigate the ability of synaptotagmin I protein fragments to multimerize in vitro. We found that p65 15, in the absence of membranes, was able to self-associate to form large aggregates in a calcium-dependent manner as shown by light-scattering assays and electron microscopy. In addition, a recombinant protein comprised of only the second half of the cytoplasmic domain, including the second C2 domain, was also able to self-associate and aggregate phospholipid vesicles in a calcium-dependent manner. A recombinant protein comprised of only the first C2 domain was not able to self-associate or aggregate vesicles. These results suggest that synaptotagmin I is able to bind calcium in the absence of membranes and that the second half of the cytoplasmic domain is able to bind calcium and mediate its multimerization in a calcium-dependent manner. The ability of synaptotagmin I protein fragments to multimerize in a calcium-dependent manner in vitro suggests that multimerization may have an important function in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1661-1668
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1996

Keywords

  • Calcium
  • Hormone release
  • Multimerization
  • Neurotransmitter release
  • Phospholipid binding
  • Synaptotagmin I protein

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