Calcium channel structural determinants of synaptic transmission between identified invertebrate neurons

J.D. Spafford, D.W. Munno, P. van Nierop, Z.P. Feng, S.E. Jarvis, W.J. Gallin, A.B. Smit, G.W. Zamponi, N.I. Syed

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Abstract

We report here that unlike what was suggested for many vertebrate neurons, synaptic transmission in Lymnaea stagnalis occurs independent of a physical interaction between presynaptic calcium channels and a functional complement of SNARE proteins. Instead, synaptic transmission in Lymnaea requires the expression of a C-terminal splice variant of the Lymnaea homolog to mammalian N- and P/Q-type calcium channels. We show that the alternately spliced region physically interacts with the scaffolding proteins Mint1 and CASK, and that synaptic transmission is abolished following RNA interference knockdown of CASK or after the injection of peptide sequences designed to disrupt the calcium channel-Mint1 interactions. Our data suggest that Mint1 and CASK may serve to localize the non-L-type channels at the active zone and that synaptic transmission in invertebrate neurons utilizes a mechanism for optimizing calcium entry, which occurs independently of a physical association between calcium channels and SNARE proteins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4258-4267
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume278
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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