Structure, isolation, composition and reconstitution of the neuronal fusion pore

Authors

  • Won Jin Cho,

    1. Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
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    • Won Jin Cho and Aleksandar Jeremic contributed equally to this work.

  • Aleksandar Jeremic,

    1. Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
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    • Won Jin Cho and Aleksandar Jeremic contributed equally to this work.

  • Kathy T. Rognlien,

    1. Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
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  • Mzia G. Zhvania,

    1. Section of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi 380060, Georgia
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  • Ilia Lazrishvili,

    1. Section of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi 380060, Georgia
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  • Bikashvili Tamar,

    1. Section of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi 380060, Georgia
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  • Bhanu P. Jena

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 5245 Scott Hall, 540 E Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
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Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 313 577 1532; fax: +1 313 993 4177. bjena@med.wayne.edu

Abstract

Neuronal communication is dependent on the fusion of 40–50 nm in diameter synaptic vesicles containing neurotransmitters, at the presynaptic membrane. Here we report for the first time at 5–8 Å resolution, the presence of 8–10 nm in diameter cup-shaped neuronal fusion pores or porosomes at the presynaptic membrane, where synaptic vesicles dock and fuse to release neurotransmitters. The structure, isolation, composition, and functional reconstitution of porosomes present at the nerve terminal are described. These findings reveal the molecular mechanism of neurotransmitter release at the presynaptic membrane of nerve terminals.

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