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Saraswati, S., Adolfsen, B., Littleton, J.T. (2007). Characterization of the role of the Synaptotagmin family as calcium sensors in facilitation and asynchronous neurotransmitter release.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104(35): 14122--14127.
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Research paper

Ca(2+) influx into presynaptic nerve terminals activates synaptic vesicle exocytosis by triggering fast synchronous fusion and a slower asynchronous release pathway. In addition, a brief rise in Ca(2+) after consecutive action potentials has been correlated with a form of short-term synaptic plasticity with enhanced vesicle fusion termed facilitation. Although the synaptic vesicle protein Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) has been implicated as the Ca(2+) sensor for synchronous fusion, the molecular identity of the Ca(2+) sensors that mediate facilitation and asynchronous release is unknown. To test whether the synchronous Ca(2+) sensor, Syt1, or the asynchronous Ca(2+) sensor is involved in facilitation, we analyzed whether genetic elimination of Syt1 in Drosophila results in a concomitant impairment in facilitation. Our results indicate that Syt1 acts as a redundant Ca(2+) sensor for facilitation, with the asynchronous Ca(2+) sensor contributing significantly to this form of short-term plasticity. We next examined whether other members of the Drosophila Syt family functioned in Ca(2+)-dependent asynchronous release or facilitation in vivo. Genetic elimination of other panneuronally expressed Syt proteins did not alter these forms of exocytosis, indicating a non-Syt Ca(2+) sensor functions for both facilitation and asynchronous release. In light of these findings, the presence of two presynaptic Ca(2+) sensors can be placed in a biological context, a Syt1-based Ca(2+) sensor devoted primarily to baseline synaptic transmission and a second non-Syt Ca(2+) sensor for short-term synaptic plasticity and asynchronous release.

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PMC1955806 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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