Editors' ChoiceMembrane Biology

Reconstituting Synaptic Vesicle Fusion

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Science Signaling  29 Jan 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 260, pp. ec26
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003998

Membrane fusion reactions have been reconstituted in vitro, but often the reconstituted reactions have not directly mirrored the requirements for synaptic vesicle fusion in vivo. Previous work generally used only N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor (NSF) attachment protein SNAP receptors (SNAREs) and one or two additional components and could not explain why deletion of Munc18-1 or Munc13 abolishes neurotransmitter release completely, yielding the severe disruptions of synaptic vesicle release in knockout mouse. Ma et al. (see the Perspective by Hughson) now present a faithful reconstitution of synaptic vesicle fusion. Membrane fusion required Munc18-1 and Munc13 when the reconstitution experiments included all eight key components (three SNAREs, Munc18-1, Munc13, synaptotagmin-1, NSF, and α-SNAP).

C. Ma, L. Su, A. B. Seven, Y. Xu, J. Rizo, Reconstitution of the vital functions of Munc18 and Munc13 in neurotransmitter release. Science 339, 421–425 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]

F. M. Hughson, Chaperones that SNARE neurotransmitter release. Science 339, 406–407 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]