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We examined the role of SNAPs, soluble proteins that attach N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF), in regulating exocytosis in single rat adrenal chromaffin cells. Whole-cell dialysis of Ca2+-buffered solution or photolysis of caged-Ca2+ was used to manipulate cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), whereas exocytosis was measured via carbon fiber amperometry or membrane capacitance. Buffering [Ca2+]i to approximately 170 nm produced a mean rate of exocytosis of approximately one amperometric event per minute. Including alpha-SNAP (60 or 500 nm) in the intracellular solution dramatically increased the mean rate of exocytosis. The stimulatory action of alpha-SNAP requires ATP hydrolysis mediated via NSF, because this action was blocked by intracellular dialysis of ATP-gamma-S (2 mm) and could not be mimicked by a mutant alpha-SNAP that does not stimulate the ATPase activity of NSF. This action of alpha-SNAP was significant only at [Ca2+]i between 100 and 300 nm and was not shared by beta-SNAP (500 nm), suggesting that alpha-SNAP enhanced a component of exocytosis that is regulated by a high-affinity Ca2+ sensor. In cells dialyzed with both alpha- and beta-SNAP, the rate of exocytosis was smaller than that produced by alpha-SNAP alone, suggesting that alpha- and beta-SNAP interact competitively. Although only alpha-SNAP stimulated exocytosis at [Ca2+]i between 100 and 300 nm, both alpha- and beta-SNAP isoforms equally slowed the time-dependent rundown of the exocytic response. Our results indicate that alpha- and beta-SNAP have different actions in exocytosis. Thus, the ratio of different isoforms of SNAPs can determine release probability at the levels of [Ca2+]i that are involved in regulation of exocytosis.


Jianhua Xu, Yimei Xu, Graham C R Ellis-Davies, George J Augustine, Frederick W Tse. Differential regulation of exocytosis by alpha- and beta-SNAPs. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2002 Jan 1;22(1):53-61

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PMID: 11756488

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