Sitarska E, Xu J, Park S, Liu X, Quade B, Stepien K, Sugita K, Brautigam CA, Sugita S, Rizo J.
eLife 2017 May; 6: e24278.
unc18-1 orchestrates SNARE complex assembly together with Munc13-1 to mediate neurotransmitter release. Munc18-1 binds to synaptobrevin, but the relevance of this interaction and its relation to Munc13 function are unclear. NMR experiments now show that Munc18-1 binds specifically and non-specifically to synaptobrevin. Specific binding is inhibited by a L348R mutation in Munc18-1 and enhanced by a D326K mutation designed to disrupt the ‘furled conformation’ of a Munc18-1 loop. Correspondingly, the activity of Munc18-1 in reconstitution assays that require Munc18-1 and Munc13-1 for membrane fusion is stimulated by the D326K mutation and inhibited by the L348R mutation. Moreover, the D326K mutation allows Munc13-1-independent fusion and leads to a gain-of-function in rescue experiments in Caenorhabditis elegans unc-18 nulls. Together with previous studies, our data support a model whereby Munc18-1 acts as a template for SNARE complex assembly, and autoinhibition of synaptobrevin binding contributes to enabling regulation of neurotransmitter release by Munc13-1.
PubMed: 28477408. Doi: 10.7554/eLife.24278. free PMC article