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Reinvestigation of the role of snapin in neurotransmitter release.


Schwarz,  Martin K.
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Vites, O., Rhee, J., Schwarz, M. K., Rosenmund, C., & Jahn, R. (2004). Reinvestigation of the role of snapin in neurotransmitter release. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(25), 26251-26256. doi:10.1074/jbc.M404079200.

Snapin, a 15-kDa protein, has been identified recently as a binding partner of SNAP-25. Moreover, snapin is regulated by phosphorylation and enhances synaptotagmin binding to SNAREs. Furthermore, snapin and C-terminal snapin fragments have been effective in changing the release properties of neurons and chromaffin cells. Here we have reinvestigated the role of snapin using both biochemical and electrophysiological approaches. Snapin is ubiquitously expressed at low levels with no detectable enrichment in the brain or in synaptic vesicles. Using non-equilibrium and equilibrium assays including pulldown experiments, co-immunoprecipitations, and CD and fluorescence anisotropy spectroscopy, we were unable to detect any specific interaction between snapin and SNAP-25. Similarly, overexpression of a C-terminal snapin fragment in hippocampal neurons failed to influence any of the analyzed parameters of neurotransmitter release. Initial biochemical characterization of recombinant snapin revealed that the protein is a stable dimer with a predominantly alpha-helical secondary structure. We conclude that the postulated role of snapin as a SNARE regulator in neurotransmitter release needs reconsideration, leaving the true function of this evolutionarily conserved protein to be discovered.