Changes of synaptotagmin interaction with t-SNARE proteins in vitro after calcium/calmodulin-dependent phosphorylation

Marina Verona, Simona Zanotti, Theo Schäfer, Giorgio Racagni, Maurizio Popoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The regulation of multiple phases of the life cycle of synaptic vesicles is carried out by a complex series of protein-protein interactions. According to the SNARE hypothesis the core of these interactions is a heterotrimeric complex formed by syntaxin, SNAP-25, and VAMP-synaptobrevin. Other proteins interacting with the core of the SNARE complex, such as voltage-activated calcium channels and synaptotagmin (a putative calcium sensor), are considered crucial for the calcium dependence of release and also molecular mediators of synaptic plasticity. Here the interaction of synaptotagmin with SNARE proteins was studied in immunoprecipitated native complexes, and the effects of previous phosphorylation-dephosphorylation on this inferaction were analyzed. It is surprising that the interaction of synaptotagmin with syntaxin and SNAP-25 in native complexes was not found to be calcium- dependent. However, previous incubation under dephosphorylating conditions decreased the synaptotagmin-syntaxin interaction. Stimulation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, which endogenously phosphorylates synaptotagmin in synaptic vesicles, increased the interaction of syntaxin and SNAP-25 with synaptotagmin (particularly when measured in the presence of calcium), as well as increasing the binding of the kinase itself. These results suggest that calcium decreases synaptotagmin-t-SNARE interactions after dephosphorylation and increases them after phosphorylation. Overall, these results imply a phosphorylation- dephosphorylation balance in regulation of the synaptotagmin-t-SNARE interaction and suggest a role for protein phosphorylation in the modulation of calcium sensitivity in transmitter release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Calcium
  • Neurotransmitter release
  • Protein phosphorylation
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Synaptosome-associated protein receptor
  • Synaptotagmin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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