Doc2 Proteins Are Not Required for the Increased Spontaneous Release Rate in Synaptotagmin-1-Deficient Neurons

Rocío Díez-Arazola, Marieke Meijer, Quentin Bourgeois-Jaarsma, L. Niels Cornelisse, Matthijs Verhage, Alexander J. Groffen

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Copyright © 2020 the authors. Regulated secretion is controlled by Ca2+ sensors with different affinities and subcellular distributions. Inactivation of Syt1 (synaptotagmin-1), the main Ca2+ sensor for synchronous neurotransmission in many neurons, enhances asynchronous and spontaneous release rates, suggesting that Syt1 inhibits other sensors with higher Ca2+ affinities and/or lower cooperativities. Such sensors could include Doc2a and Doc2b, which have been implicated in spontaneous and asynchronous neurotransmitter release and compete with Syt1 for binding SNARE complexes. Here, we tested this hypothesis using triple-knock-out mice. Inactivation of Doc2a and Doc2b in Syt1-deficient neurons did not reduce the high spontaneous release rate. Overexpression of Doc2b variants in triple-knock-out neurons reduced spontaneous release but did not rescue synchronous release. A chimeric construct in which the C2AB domain of Syt1 was substituted by that of Doc2b did not support synchronous release either. Conversely, the soluble C2AB domain of Syt1 did not affect spontaneous release. We conclude that the high spontaneous release rate in synaptotagmin-deficient neurons does not involve the binding of Doc2 proteins to Syt1 binding sites in the SNARE complex. Instead, our results suggest that the C2AB domains of Syt1 and Doc2b specifically support synchronous and spontaneous release by separate mechanisms. (Both male and female neurons were studied without sex determination.)SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neurotransmission in the brain is regulated by presynaptic Ca2+ concentrations. Multiple Ca2+ sensor proteins contribute to synchronous (Syt1, Syt2), asynchronous (Syt7), and spontaneous (Doc2a/Doc2b) phases of neurotransmitter release. Genetic ablation of synchronous release was previously shown to affect other release phases, suggesting that multiple sensors may compete for similar release sites, together encoding stimulus-secretion coupling over a large range of synaptic Ca2+ concentrations. Here, we investigated the extent of functional overlap between Syt1, Doc2a, and Doc2b by reintroducing wild-type and mutant proteins in triple-knock-out neurons, and conclude that the sensors are highly specialized for different phases of release.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2606-2617
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2020


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