The Munc18-1 domain 3a loop is essential for neuroexocytosis but not for syntaxin-1A transport to the plasma membrane
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Munc18-1 plays a dual role in transporting syntaxin-1A (Sx1a) to the plasma membrane and regulating SNARE-mediated membrane fusion. As impairment of either function leads to a common exocytic defect, assigning specific roles for various Munc18-1 domains has proved difficult. Structural analyses predict that a loop region in Munc18-1 domain 3a could catalyse the conversion of Sx1a from a ‘closed’, fusion-incompetent to an ‘open’, fusion-competent conformation. As this conversion occurs at the plasma membrane, mutations in this loop could potentially separate the chaperone and exocytic functions of Munc18-1. Expression of a Munc18-1 deletion mutant lacking 17 residues of the domain 3a loop (Munc18-1Δ317–333) in PC12 cells deficient in endogenous Munc18 (DKD-PC12 cells) fully rescued transport of Sx1a to the plasma membrane, but not exocytic secretory granule fusion. In vitro binding of Munc18-1Δ317–333 to Sx1a was indistinguishable from that of full-length Munc18-1, consistent with the critical role of the closed conformation in Sx1a transport. However, in DKD-PC12 cells, Munc18-1Δ317–333 binding to Sx1a was greatly reduced compared to that of full-length Munc18-1, suggesting that closed conformation binding contributes little to the overall interaction at the cell surface. Furthermore, we found that Munc18-1Δ317–333 could bind SNARE complexes in vitro, suggesting that additional regulatory factors underpin the exocytic function of Munc18-1 in vivo. Together, these results point to a defined role for Munc18-1 in facilitating exocytosis linked to the loop region of domain 3a that is clearly distinct from its function in Sx1a transport.
Journal of Cell Science
Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified