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Keywords:

  • active zone;
  • calcium channel;
  • endocytosis;
  • presynaptic;
  • release site;
  • scaffold

Abstract

Synaptic vesicles (SVs) are triggered to fuse with the surface membrane at the presynaptic transmitter release site (TRSs) core by Ca2+ influx through nearby attached CaV2.2 channels [see accompanying paper: Khanna et al. (2007)Eur. J. Neurosci., 26, 547–559] and are then recovered by endocytosis. In this study we test the hypothesis that the TRS core is linked to an endocytosis-related protein complex. This was tested by immunostaining analysis of the chick ciliary ganglion calyx presynaptic terminal and biochemical analysis of synaptosome lysate, using CaV2.2 as a marker for the TRS. We noted that CaV2.2 clusters abut heavy-chain (H)-clathrin patches at the transmitter release face. Quantitative coimmunostaining analysis (ICA/ICQ method) demonstrated a strong covariance of release-face CaV2.2 staining with that for the AP180 and intersectin endocytosis adaptor proteins, and a moderate covariance with H- or light-chain (L)-clathrin and dynamin coat proteins, consistent with a multimolecular complex. This was supported by coprecipitation of these proteins with CaV2.2 from brain synaptosome lysate. Interestingly, the channel neither colocalized nor coprecipitated with the endocytosis cargo-capturing adaptor AP2, even though this protein both colocalized and coprecipitated with H-clathrin. Fractional recovery analysis of the immunoprecipitated CaV2.2 complex by exposure to high NaCl (∼1 m) indicated that AP180 and S-intersectin adaptors are tightly bound to CaV2.2 while L-intersectin, H- and L-clathrin and dynamin form a less tightly linked subcomplex. Our results are consistent with two distinct clathrin endocytosis complexes: an AP2-containing, remote, non-TRS complex and a specialised, AP2-lacking, TRS-associated subcomplex linked via a molecular bridge. The most probable role of this subcomplex is to facilitate SV recovery after transmitter release.