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In Vivo Analysis of Conserved C. elegans Tomosyn Domains

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posted on 16.03.2012 by Anna O. Burdina, Susan M. Klosterman, Ludmila Shtessel, Shawn Ahmed, Janet E. Richmond
Neurosecretion is critically dependent on the assembly of a macromolecular complex between the SNARE proteins syntaxin, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin. Evidence indicates that the binding of tomosyn to syntaxin and SNAP-25 interferes with this assembly, thereby negatively regulating both synaptic transmission and peptide release. Tomosyn has two conserved domains: an N-terminal encompassing multiple WD40 repeats predicted to form two b-propeller structures and a C-terminal SNARE-binding motif. To assess the function of each domain, we performed an in vivo analysis of the N- and C- terminal domains of C. elegans tomosyn (TOM-1) in a tom-1 mutant background. We verified that both truncated TOM-1 constructs were transcribed at levels comparable to rescuing full-length TOM-1, were of the predicted size, and localized to synapses. Unlike full-length TOM-1, expression of the N- or C-terminal domains alone was unable to restore inhibitory control of synaptic transmission in tom-1 mutants. Similarly, co-expression of both domains failed to restore TOM-1 function. In addition, neither the N- nor C-terminal domain inhibited release when expressed in a wild-type background. Based on these results, we conclude that the ability of tomosyn to regulate neurotransmitter release in vivo depends on the physical integrity of the protein, indicating that both N- and C-terminal domains are necessary but not sufficient for effective inhibition of release in vivo.




This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant RO1 MH073156. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 Burdina et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.002618


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