Nerve regeneration studies at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) suggest that synaptic basal lamina components tell the returning axon where to locate neurotransmitter release machinery, including synaptic vesicle clusters and active zones. Good candidates for these components are the synaptic laminins (LNs) containing α4, α5, or β2 chains. Results from a β2 laminin knockout mouse have suggested a linkage of this extracellular laminin to cytosolic synaptic vesicle clusters. Here we report such a transmembrane link at the electric organ synapse, which is homologous to the NMJ. We immunopurified electric organ synaptosomes and found on their surface two laminins of 740 and 900 kDa. The 740 kDa laminin has a composition of α4β2γ1 (laminin-9). Immunostaining reveals that as in the NMJ, α4 and β2 chains are concentrated at the electric organ synapse. Using detergent-solubilized synaptosomes, we immunoprecipitated a complex containing α4β2γ1 laminin, the voltage-gated calcium channel, and the cytoskeletal protein spectrin. Other presynaptic proteins such as 900 kDa laminin are not found in this complex. We hypothesize that α4β2γ1 laminin in the synaptic basal lamina attaches to calcium channel, which in turn is attached to cytosolic spectrin. Spectrin could then organize synaptic vesicle clusters by binding vesicle- associated proteins.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2000|
- Calcium channel
- Electric organ
- Nerve terminal