Munc18-1 orchestrates SNARE complex assembly together with Munc13-1 to mediate neurotransmitter release. Munc18-1 binds to synaptobrevin, but the relevance of this interaction and its relation to Munc13 function are unclear. NMR experiments now show that Munc18-1 binds specifically and non-specifically to synaptobrevin. Specific binding is inhibited by a L348R mutation in Munc18-1 and enhanced by a D326K mutation designed to disrupt the ‘furled conformation’ of a Munc18-1 loop. Correspondingly, the activity of Munc18-1 in reconstitution assays that require Munc18-1 and Munc13-1 for membrane fusion is stimulated by the D326K mutation and inhibited by the L348R mutation. Moreover, the D326K mutation allows Munc13-1-independent fusion and leads to a gain-of-function in rescue experiments in Caenorhabditis elegans unc-18 nulls. Together with previous studies, our data support a model whereby Munc18-1 acts as a template for SNARE complex assembly, and autoinhibition of synaptobrevin binding contributes to enabling regulation of neurotransmitter release by Munc13-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)