Munc13-1 plays a crucial role in neurotransmitter release. We recently proposed that the C-terminal region encompassing the C1, C2B, MUN and C2C domains of Munc13-1 (C1C2BMUNC2C) bridges the synaptic vesicle and plasma membranes through interactions involving the C2C domain and the C1-C2B region. However, the physiological relevance of this model has not been demonstrated. Here we show that C1C2BMUNC2C bridges membranes through opposite ends of its elongated structure. Mutations in putative membrane-binding sites of the C2C domain disrupt the ability of C1C2BMUNC2C to bridge liposomes and to mediate liposome fusion in vitro. These mutations lead to corresponding disruptive effects on synaptic vesicle docking, priming, and Ca2+-triggered neurotransmitter release in mouse neurons. Remarkably, these effects include an almost complete abrogation of release by a single residue substitution in this 200 kDa protein. These results show that bridging the synaptic vesicle and plasma membranes is a central function of Munc13-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)