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Synaptotagmin-1 (Syt-1) is a calcium sensing protein that is resident in synaptic vesicles. It is well established that Syt-1 is essential for fast and synchronous neurotransmitter release. However, the role of Ca2+ and phospholipid binding in the function of Syt-1, and ultimately in neurotransmitter release, is unclear. Here, we investigate the binding of Ca2+ to Syt-1, first in the absence of lipids, using native mass spectrometry to evaluate individual binding affinities. Syt-1 binds to one Ca2+ with a KD ∼ 45 μM. Each subsequent binding affinity (n ≥ 2) is successively unfavorable. Given that Syt-1 has been reported to bind anionic phospholipids to modulate the Ca2+ binding affinity, we explored the extent that Ca2+ binding was mediated by selected anionic phospholipid binding. We found that phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) and dioleoylphosphatidylserine (DOPS) positively modulated Ca2+ binding. However, the extent of Syt-1 binding to phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) was reduced with increasing [Ca2+]. Overall, we find that specific lipids differentially modulate Ca2+ binding. Given that these lipids are enriched in different subcellular compartments and therefore may interact with Syt-1 at different stages of the synaptic vesicle cycle, we propose a regulatory mechanism involving Syt-1, Ca2+, and anionic phospholipids that may also control some aspects of vesicular exocytosis.

Original publication




Journal article


ACS Chem Biol

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